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USSF wants wage discrimination claim dismissed

Carli Lloyd and U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati in 2014. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Carli Lloyd and U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati in 2014. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

The U.S. Soccer Federation has asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to dismiss a complaint of wage discrimination made by members of its women’s national team.

USSF said in a response Tuesday that it is not discriminating against its women’s national team. The federation argued that it treats its women’s national team program better than any federation in the world treats its respective women’s team.

“The suggestion that U.S. Soccer has been anything other than strongly supportive of the WNT is deeply disappointing and inaccurate,” the statement, obtained by The Equalizer, said.

Five players — Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe — officially filed the wage discrimination claim with the EEOC in March, but the USSF argued in Tuesday’s statement that it actually pays its women’s players better than its men’s players. The women’s players and their lawyers disagree, although the economics are a matter of how the numbers are viewed.

The players look at the most recent fiscal year, which saw the women’s team pull in more revenue than the men’s team for the first time ever.

But U.S. Soccer argues that history shows the men’s team makes more money for the federation and pulls in larger attendances — an argument which in 2016 in particular shows signs of changing. U.S. Soccer also points out the the women’s teams is on salary and receives benefits such as maternity leave, severance and childcare. The women also earn National Women’s Soccer League salaries which are paid by U.S. Soccer.

The EEOC dispute is separate from the court battle between the federation and the players’ association over the validity of the collective bargaining agreement, which will be a key factor in whether or not the U.S. women could strike prior to the Olympics, should they choose to do so.


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