The US Women's Soccer Team files EEOC Wage Discrimination Claim against US Soccer Federation

In case you missed it over the summer, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) won their 3rd Women’s World Cup, and this summer they seek to win another gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, where they have already won 4 gold medals out of the 5 times the event has taken place.  With such a fantastic record as compared to the men’s national team, who have never advanced further than the World Cup quarter finals, or won a medal at the Olympics, shouldn’t the women be paid equally if not more?

 Five current female players have filed a claim this week accusing the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) of wage discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  According to Federal Law, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.  The claim states that the women’s team is paid nearly 4 times less than the men’s national team while playing more having more training sessions, games, and better results than the USMNT.  As well, the FIFA payout for the winner of each tournament is drastically different.  In 2014, men’s champion Germany received $35 million, and the U.S. women only received $2 million for winning the World Cup.  Let’s look at the figures of World Cup payouts of the USMNT and USWNT:

US Soccer World Cup Bonuses

MNT 2018/WNT 2015

Make World Cup Roster- per player

$76,000- Men

$15,000- Women

Qualify for World Cup (Team)

$2.5M - Men

$345,000- Women

Reach round of 16 (Team)

$3.6M- Men

$0- Women

Reach quarterfinals (Team)

$5M- Men

$0- Women

Reach Semifinals (Team)

$4.5M- Men

N/A- Women

4th Place Finish (Team)

N/A- Men

$240,000- Women

3rd Place Finish (Team)

$1.25M- Men

$480,000- Women

2nd Place Finish (Team)

$6.25M- Men

$780,000- Women

Win World Cup

$9.3M- Men

$1.8M- Women

(Data from New York Post)

 The figures from above prove that the men’s team makes much more money than the women, but why?  The defense most certainly will point to fewer viewers and fewer sponsors and advertisers.  The 2010 men’s World Cup was viewed by nearly a billion people and netted $1.4 billion, where the women’s World cup in 2011 had 400 million viewers and netted $5.8 million (New York Times).   

Will the USWNT be able to prove that the USSF was paying unfair wages and should be paid equal to their USMNT counterparts, or will the USSF be able to prove that the wages were just based on revenue and other figures?