USWNT players ask for appeal and trial delay in equal pay lawsuit
The plaintiffs filed two applications Friday in the California Federal District Court. Lawyers for the players are asking to postpone the trial, which is currently scheduled for June 16. In addition, they are asking for a final judgment on their equal pay and the claims for discrimination in Title VII, in order to allow an immediate appeal of these claims to the United States Court of Appeal for the ninth circuit, according to court documents.
“The argument that women renounced a right to equal pay by accepting the best possible collective agreement in response to the Federation’s refusal to put equal pay on the table is not a legitimate reason to continue discriminating against them, “said Molly Levinson, a spokesperson for USWNT players in their lawsuit on Friday.
“Today, we are filing a motion to allow us to immediately appeal the decision of the district court so that the ninth circuit can examine these requests.”
On May 1, the USWNT legal case suffered a heavy blow, with judge R. Gary Klausner rejecting the players’ claims that they were paid less than the national men’s team. In its written decision, it stated that the players’ complaints of uneven working conditions based on travel conditions, in particular charter flights and hotel accommodation, and support services, in particular support medical and training, could still be tried.
The USWNT originally filed a complaint against the American Football Federation in March 2019, with 28 team members listed as complainants. The May 1 decision was made in response to a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the federation’s lawsuit before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, according to a court record.
The prosecution alleges that the American Football Federation’s payment practices constitute federal discrimination by compensating women less than men “for substantially equal work and denying them at least equal conditions of play, training and travel; equal promotion of their games; equal support and development for their games and other terms of employment equivalent to the DTM. ”
However, Klausner wrote in his ruling that members of the USWNT have not proven pay discrimination under the Equal Pay Act because the women’s team has played more games and won more money than the men’s team.
The women’s team also rejected a collective agreement (CBA) in which they would have the same compensation structure as the men’s team in favor of another CBA, wrote Klausner.
The ABC for women guarantees that the players will be compensated, whether or not they play a match, while the ABC for men requests that the players be paid if they are called into the camp to play and then participate in a match, according to the summary judgment.
Klausner wrote that women were asking a court to find that women were paid less than men because if women had been paid under the ABC of men, they would have earned more than they did in under their own ABC.
“This approach – simply comparing what each team would have done under the other team’s ABCs – is untenable in this case, as it ignores the reality that the DTM and WNT have negotiated different agreements that reflect different preferences , and that the WNT has explicitly rejected the terms they are now seeking to impose retroactively, “wrote Klausner.
Klausner also wrote in his ruling: “This evidence is insufficient to create a real question of fact important to the trial.”
According to USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, who was on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday, the male contract was never offered to women.
“If we were contracted to the men, we would do three times more,” Rapinoe told ABC.
“You can look at the total compensation and say,” Oh, the women’s team did a little more. “During this time when we have done a little more, we have won two World Cups and we have won almost every game we have participated in. So the pay rate is so different. To be honest, I think so many women are going through this.
“When we looked at our CBA, I think the court judge hinted at this, that now that the contracts have gone on, we’re just saying that because we did less, we would like to go to the men’s contract.
“The men’s contract was never offered to us and certainly not the same amount of money, so to say that we negotiated for our contract and that’s what we agreed to, I think so many women can understand what that it’s like the feeling of entering into negotiations knowing that equal pay isn’t on the table. Knowing anywhere near your male counterparts isn’t even on the table. ”
“USMNT players continue to support WNT players in their efforts to ensure equal pay,” said the statement. “For a year and a half, USMNT players have made proposals to the Federation that would ensure equal pay for USMNT and USWNT players. We understand that WNT players plan to appeal last week’s decision and we support them. ”