Women's sport: The USWNT have their bid for equal pay dismissed by judge

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A federal judge has thrown out the unequal pay claim by players on the US women’s national soccer team.

However, they will allow their allegation of discriminatory working conditions to go to trial.

Players, led by Alex Morgan, claimed they have not been paid equally under their collective bargaining agreement to what the men’s national team receives.

Morgan sued in March 2019 and asked form more than $66m in damages under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

However, in a 32-page decision, a district judge threw out the Equal Pay Act allegations.

“The history of negotiations between the parties demonstrates that the WNT rejected an offer to be paid under the same pay-to-play structure as the MNT, and 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,” US district judge R Gary Klausner wrote, per the Guardian.

“Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA worse than the MNT 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,” he said.

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“We are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay,” Molly Levinson, spokeswoman for the women’s players, said in a statement. “We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women who play this sport will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender.”

But in a consolation for the USWNT, Klausner left intact claims that the USSF discriminated in the money it spent on commercial airfare, hotel accommodations, and medical and training support services.

A trial is scheduled for 16 June in federal court in Los Angeles.

“We are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay,” Molly Levinson, spokeswoman for the women’s players, said in a statement. “We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women who play this sport will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender.”

US co-captain Megan Rapinoe took to Twitter and tweeted: "We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY."

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And Raphinoe was joined by many other players on the US national team.

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