US striker Megan Rapinoe celebrates after hitting Canada in the second Half of a CONCACAF Olympic women's qualifier on February 9, 2020 in Carson, California, USA 3-0. (AP Photo / Chris Carlson)
Women in the United States Women's National Team seek more than $ 66 million in damages for their gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Football Association.
The damage was contained in a number of papers filed with the Los Angeles District Court on Thursday evening before a trial should begin on May 5.
Among the documents submitted were the separate collective bargaining agreements between the US men's and women's teams that had not previously been published.
Women national team players sued the association in March last year for institutionalized gender discrimination involving unequal compensation between men's and women's teams.
Each side of the class action lawsuit asked for a summary judgment in their favor. The estimate of the damage, including interest, was provided by Finnie Bevin Cook, an economist from the Deiter Consulting Group, which was retained by the accused players.
The collective agreements showed different bonuses, but also emphasized the different remuneration structures between the two teams.
"Women national team players are paid differently because they have explicitly requested and negotiated a completely different contract than the men's national team, despite having offered and rejected a similar pay-to-play agreement in previous negotiations" Football said in a statement. “Her preference was a contract that offered significant additional benefits that the men's national team did not have, including guaranteed annual salaries, health and dental insurance, paid childcare allowance, paid pregnancy and parental leave, severance payments, and continued salary during the periods of injury, access to a pension plan, multiple bonuses and more. "
Molly Levinson, plaintiff's spokeswoman, contested the federal allegations.
"In the recent CBA negotiations, the USSF repeatedly said that equal pay, regardless of pay structure, was not an option," Levinson said in a statement. "The USSF proposed a lower-overall pay-to-play structure. In any case, players were offered less wages for a friendly match or a competitive match than their male counterparts. This is exactly the definition of gender discrimination , and of course the players rejected them. "
The lawsuit has garnered worldwide attention. When the United States won the World Cup final in France last summer, the fans sang in the crowd “Equal Pay! Same pay! "
Earlier this month, the men's national team's union called on the association to significantly increase wages for the women's team and accused the board of directors of making low-ball deals in ongoing contract negotiations with the men's team.
Among the documents submitted on Thursday were numerous pre-judicial statements. Acting FIFA Player of the Year Megan Rapinoe was dropped on January 16. She said Russell Sawyer, an external attorney for the USSF, said during a round of negotiations in June 2016 that "the market realities are such that women do not deserve to be paid men equally." "
USSF President Carlos Cordeiro was asked during a statement on January 29 for a statement he made during the election campaign that "our players were not treated equally".
"Back then, and to some extent, I still felt that the lack of opportunity for our players was really at the root of some of their problems," said Cordeiro. “The fact that the Women's World Cup generates a fraction of the revenue and a fraction of the revenue of the men frankly reflects the lack of opportunities. … Women's football outside the United States does not have the same respect. "
Former USSF President Sunil Gulati spoke about the distinction between male and female football during a dismissal on December 17.
"There is an absolute difference that not everyone seemed to agree, but do I think it is less attractive or less entertaining? I'm not saying that. Or relative quality, I'm not saying that, ”he said. "But I also don't say about the absolute level – whether speed or strength, they are the same. I think most people would accept that too."
An American who was on the squad for all 16 qualifiers during failed efforts to reach the 2018 World Cup earned $ 179,375 in payments from the U.S. Football Association.
An American received $ 52,500 for participating in the five World Cup qualifiers last year and $ 147,500 for her time at the World Cup, including a $ 37,500 roster bonus and $ 110,000 for the title win in France.
The USSF maintains 16 to 21 players under contract each year of the current employment contract, which runs until 2021, and pays a salary of $ 100,000 each. The association also pays at least 22 players assigned to a club in the National Women's Football League, each receiving $ 72,500 to $ 77,500 this year.
Women receive 75% of their maternity leave for up to a year, and a player has more than three months or two training camps to get fully fit again. A player can receive 75% of their salary for up to three months if they adopt a child, and a daily grant of $ 50 for childcare while training and playing. The USSF also pays for health, dental and vision insurance for women.
When the men last qualified for the World Cup in 2014, their player pool received a payment of $ 2 million, and each player earned $ 55,000 for the lineup and $ 5,500 per game. The player pool earned $ 175,000 per point for the group stage, a total of $ 700,000 plus $ 3.6 million for reaching the round of 16.
The USSF noted in its file that it had received $ 9 million from FIFA for the men who reached the second round of the 2014 World Cup, but $ 2 million for the women in 2015 won, and $ 4 million for their victory in 2019.
There is parity per day: women receive $ 62.50 a day in the United States and $ 75 internationally, just like the men who received them under their expired contract for the 2015-18 period. And men and women each receive $ 1.50 per entry paid for home games controlled by the USSF.
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