All 28 members of the United States squad were named as plaintiffs in federal court in Los Angeles on International Women's Day and the lawsuit includes complaints about wages and almost every other aspect of their working conditions.
The lawsuit read, per ESPN: "Despite the fact that these female and male players are called upon to perform the same job responsibilities on their teams and participate in worldwide competitions for their single common employer, the USSF, the female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts".
"Despite the fact that these female and male players are called upon to perform the same job responsibilities on their teams and participate in global competitions for their single common employer, the USSF, the female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts", the suit says. The New York Times reported that the entire 28-member team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the USSF in federal court on Friday.
The U.S. Soccer Federation did not respond when asked to comment on the lawsuit.
The USSF has, in the past, maintained that much of the pay disparity between the men's and women's teams resulted from separate labor agreements. It alleges gender-based discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
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The US women's team has enjoyed unparalleled success in global soccer, including three World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals and numerous other worldwide competitions.
In 2016, five players-including Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Hope Solo-filed a wage-discrimination action against the federation with the Equal Employment Opportuinity Commission. The new lawsuit effectively ends the EEOC complaint, according to the AP. "And while we have fought very hard and for a long time, whether that be through our CBA or through our players association, putting ourselves in the best possible position that we can to get the best deal that we can, we still feel that we don't have what we're trying to achieve, which is equality in the workplace".
Team members spoke to CBS News "60 Minutes" in 2016, when their legal fight for equality first began. Despite that, co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn told Norah O'Donnell, U.S. Soccer still didn't bank on her team's success. They said they were being paid less than half of what male U.S. players receive. A collective bargaining agreement was struck in 2017 whereby players were said to have received raises in base pay and bonuses, among other things, according to The Associated Press. It also gave the players some control of certain licensing and marketing rights.
The lawsuit filed Friday seeks "an adjustment of the wage rates and benefits for Plaintiffs Morgan, Lloyd, Rapinoe and Sauerbrunn and the class to the level these Plaintiffs and the class would be enjoying but for the USSF's discriminatory practices".
The lawsuit outlines years of institutionalized gender discrimination, claiming travel conditions, medical personnel, promotion of games and training are less favorable for female players compared to their male counterparts.