02 December 2020

USWNT win equal working conditions and will continue to fight for equal pay

The American women’s soccer team have won equal working conditions after agreeing a settlement with governing body US Soccer yesterday.

It means they now have the same travel, accommodation, staffing and facilities as their male counterparts.

But while they have secured one aim, they say they will continue a separate fight for equal pay and will appeal to pursue a lawsuit thrown out by a judge last May.

USWNT spokesperson Molly Levinso said: “We are pleased that the USWNT players have fought for – and achieved – long overdue equal working conditions. We now intend to file our appeal to the court’s decision which does not account for the central fact in this case that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job.

“We remain as committed as ever to our work to achieve the equal pay that we legally deserve. Our focus is on the future and ensuring we leave the game a better place for the next generation of women who will play for this team and this country.”

US Soccer president and former player Cindy Parlow Cone, who took over from Carlos Cordeiro after he was accused of sexism earlier this year, said the agreement is a ‘springboard’ towards progress.

“This is an important and welcomed moment for US Soccer and the women’s national team players. Earlier this year, I stepped into the role as President, and shortly after we hired Will Wilson as our new CEO. We, and the rest of the leadership team at US Soccer, are focused on taking a new approach at the federation in handling all matters.

“I believe our approach helped us reach this agreement and demonstrates the commitment of US Soccer’s new leadership to find a new way forward with the USWNT. This settlement is good news for everyone and I believe will serve as a springboard for continued progress.”

The US won the World Cup last year

(Zuma Press/PA Images)

She said the agreement could encourage FIFA to invest equally in the women’s and men’s game. 

“Just as important, we want to work with the USWNT on growing women’s soccer here in the United States and across the globe. Part of this is encouraging FIFA to invest equally in the men’s and women’s game, including increasing the World Cup prize money. 

"I will lend my voice and efforts to making this happen not only for the USWNT, but for all women’s national team players and everyone who believes in the women’s game throughout the world.”

But while the governing body have granted the team equal working conditions, they still insist they did nothing wrong.

The settlement reads: “USSF denies that it did anything wrong and maintains that it has not discriminated against Plaintiffs on the basis of sex in pay or working condition.”

The team’s equal pay suit was thrown out earlier this year because judge Gary Klausner said there was not enough evidence to proceed with the case at trial. They filed an immediate appeal but this was denied.

The USWNT are seeking $66 million in damages as they claim they have not been paid what the men would have received had thet achieved equal success.

In recent years, the women’s side have won back-to-back World Cups and a gold medal at the Olympics.

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