Employment Law Daily Resolution pushing U.S. Soccer Federation to end gender pay gap passes
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Resolution pushing U.S. Soccer Federation to end gender pay gap passes

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.

On May 26, the Senate passed a resolution aimed at closing the gender wage gap at the United States Soccer Federation. As the resolution notes, the U.S Women’s National Team (USWNT) has won three Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Women’s World Cups, four Olympic Gold Medals, and seven Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Gold Cups. On the day S. Res. 462 was adopted, the U.S. Women’s National Team was ranked first in the world. Yet, the pay disparities suffered by team members are consistent with the reality of many U.S. women who, more than 50 years after the enactment of the Equal Pay Act, still make on average only 79 cents for each dollar that their male counterparts are paid.

In March, five women on the USWNT filed an EEOC charge raising wage discrimination claims against the U.S. Soccer Federation, according to a Winston & Strawn announcement. The women asserted that they are paid almost four times less than their male counterparts on the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team.

S. Res. 462, which passed by a voice vote, presses the U.S. Soccer Federation “to immediately end gender pay inequity and to treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve.” The resolution also “supports an end to pay discrimination based on gender and the strengthening of equal pay protections.”

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, one of the co-writers of the resolution, said: “I am extremely proud that my Senate colleagues have adopted this resolution—these are great words of support for women across the country. Now, let’s back it up with action by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act! I am going to keep fighting for this legislation, so I urge all my colleagues to put partisanship aside, once again, and work to get this done.”

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