Morgan, et al. v. United States Soccer Federation, Inc. (U.S.C.A. 9th Circuit, 2021)

Discrimination

9th Circuit Court of Appeals ,

Discrimination

In March 2019, the United States Senior Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT) filed a class action lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation, Inc. (USSF), claiming violations of the Equal Pay Act and of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 alleging unequal pay and working conditions as compared to the Men’s National Team (USMNT) in the District Court of Central California. For years, the U.S. Soccer Federation had been paying USWNT players less than their counterparts on the USMNT, despite the women’s soccer team being more successful and bringing in substantially more money than the men’s soccer team. Upon a summary judgment motion, the District Court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the women’s team for the unequal working conditions claim, but granted summary judgment in favor of USSF for the unequal pay claim. ADL joined 63 civil rights organizations in a brief led by the National Women’s Law Center and Women’s Sports Foundation supporting the women’s national team. The brief highlights the harms of the gender wage gap. It also underscores the importance of following the applicable legal standards for claims of equal pay for women, notably the Equal Pay Act and Title VII, and argues that the District Court failed to do so properly in this case.