After a defeat in court earlier this month, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) says it will appeal a decision that pointed out they rejected previously the very equal pay structure they now claim to want.
The women’s team has asked U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles to “enter a final judgment on his decision to dismiss their pay claim, which would allow them to take the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco,” The New York Post reported. The USWNT want to delay a trial set for June 16 over their discriminatory work conditions, which Klausner ruled could move forward even though he dismissed the main claim in their lawsuit: Pay discrimination.
In his ruling, Klausner explained the insidiousness of the women’s pay discrimination claim.
“The WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,” Klausner wrote. “Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA (collective bargaining agreement) worse than the MNT (men’s national team) CBA by reference to what they would have made had they been paid under the MNT’s pay-to-play terms structure when they themselves rejected such a structure.”
That’s right, the USWNT rejected the exact equal pay structure they now claim was denied to them.
“Equal pay means paying women players the same rate for winning a game as men get paid. The argument that women are paid enough if they make close to the same amount as men while winning more than twice as often is not equal pay,” USWNT spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement.
The U.S. Soccer Federation agreed not to oppose the women’s requests to delay the trial.
“If Klausner signs the order, a trial probably would be delayed until 2021 at the earliest. That would allow more time for settlement negotiations under new USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone — a former national team player — and for talks on a labor deal to replace the collective bargaining agreement that expires on Dec. 31, 2021,” the Post reported.
In addition to dismissing the women’s pay discrimination claim, Klausner also dismissed their claim that they suffered discrimination because they had to play more games on artificial turf. Klausner did, however, allow the women’s claim that they were discriminated against by the USSF over use of a charter aircraft and money spent on commercial airfare, hotels, medical services, and training.
The women’s team may have an advantage in the Ninth Circuit, one of the most notoriously liberal courts in the country, though President Donald Trump has appointed several conservative judges to the bench, flipping the makeup of the ideology.
Still, it would be surprising if the pay discrimination claim was overturned based on the fact that the women’s team was offered equal pay but refused.
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