U.S. women’s soccer equal pay deal approved by judge
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The proposed $24 million settlement between American soccer players and the sport’s governing body was approved by a federal judge on Thursday, who has scheduled a hearing for Dec. 5 for final approval.
U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner granted the motion for approval filed by the players.
« Most importantly, the unopposed settlement agreement achieves the plaintiffs’ litigation goal: equal pay, » he wrote. « The court is satisfied that the settlement is a fair and reasonable resolution. »
Players including Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and Alex Morgan filed a lawsuit with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2016. The players sued three years later, seeking damages- interest under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The parties settled the working conditions part in December 2020, dealing with issues such as charter flights, accommodation and playing surfaces.
They agreed in February to settle the remainder for $22 million to be split into individual amounts offered by the players. Additionally, the settlement directs the U.S. Soccer Federation to establish a $2 million fund to benefit female players in their post-soccer careers and charitable efforts to develop the sport for women.
Klausner wrote that the parties had agreed that settlement funds would be distributed to players based on playing time and their attorneys planned to seek « no more than approximately 30% of the pooled fund. »
The settlement depended on the USSF entering into collective bargaining agreements to pay its men’s and women’s teams equally. The federation announced in May separate employment contracts until December 2028 with the unions for the two national teams.
Klausner has set a Dec. 1 deadline for filing motions for attorney’s fees and for final approval.
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The Associated Press