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USWNT granted class certification in US Soccer equal pay lawsuit

USWNT players Megan Rapinoe (left) and Alex Morgan (Credit: Getty Images)

United States women’s national team players have been granted class certification by a California district court in their equal pay lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation.

It means that any USWNT player from February 4, 2015, through November 8, 2019, are part of the group, or class, eligible to seek injunctive relief, back pay and damages from US Soccer. It is a significant victory for the players as US Soccer had filed a motion in September opposing the request to certify the lawsuit as class action.

“This is a historic step forward in the struggle to achieve equal pay,” USWNT player spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement. “We are so pleased that the Court has recognized USSF’s ongoing discrimination against women players – rejecting USSF’s tired arguments that women must work twice as hard and accept lesser working conditions to get paid the same as men.”

Members of the USWNT have launched a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer in the search for better pay and working conditions, but talks between the two parties in August ended without resolution. The matter is scheduled to go to trial in May 2020, but it appears likely that a settlement will be agreed in the interim.

US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro recently revealed that he was “very disappointed” that mediation talks broke down. He added that US Soccer was committed to resolving the issue “in a fair way” but stated that compromise was needed from the players.

Cordeiro published an open letter on July 29 claiming that US Soccer’s women’s players were actually paid more than their male counterparts from 2010 through 2018. The women’s players branded the calculations a “ruse.”