United States Federal District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner granted class certification to the U.S. Senior Women’s National Soccer Team (“WNT”) in its suit against the U.S. Soccer Federation Inc. The action was filed in the Central District of California on March 8, 2019, just months before the team’s historic World Cup victory, naming all 28 current WNT players as named plaintiffs. In the complaint, the players claim that the U.S. Soccer Federation is in violation of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that the defendant’s pay structure is unfair to the women’s team in comparison to the less successful men’s league.
For example, the complaint details how under the pay structure in effect from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2018, the Men’s National Soccer Team (“MNT”) players received a predetermined payment to play each game. That amount then increased depending on the level of the opposing team (FIFA-ranked 1-10, FIFA-ranked 11-24, etc.) and whether they won or tied the game. The payment structure for the WNT was much different.
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