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US Soccer, USWNT Reach Agreement

On February 22, 2022, US Soccer and the USWNT players announced an agreement to resolve the outstanding equal pay claims in litigation that has been pending since March 2019. The parties released the following joint statement on the settlement agreement.
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Joint Statement on Settlement Agreement To Resolve Equal Pay Dispute

“We are pleased to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement. We will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in soccer. Getting to this day has not been easy.
The USWNT have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes. Today, we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow.
Together, we dedicate this moment to them. We look forward to continuing to work together to grow women’s soccer and advance opportunities for young girls and women in the United States and across the globe.”

Key Terms of Settlement Agreement

The case is currently on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The parties have jointly requested that the appeal be held in abeyance and the oral argument scheduled for March 7, 2022 be removed from the calendar. The key terms of the settlement agreement are outlined below.
  • The parties have agreed to resolve the equal pay claims for a total of $24 million.
    • U.S. Soccer will pay $22 million to the players in the case. This amount will be distributed in a manner proposed by the USWNT players and approved by the district court.
      • U.S. Soccer will also pay an additional $2 million into an account to benefit the USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer. Each player will be able to apply for up to $50,000 from this fund.
  • The settlement is contingent on the ratification of a new CBA for the USWNT.
    • Final approval of the settlement by the district court will be scheduled once a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the USWNT and U.S. Soccer is ratified.
      • Once the USWNT CBA is ratified and the settlement receives final approval from the court, this agreement will fully resolve the litigation.
      • Claims related to working conditions that had been filed as part of this litigation were previously resolved in December 2020.
  • U.S. Soccer has committed to providing an equal rate of pay going forward for the Women’s and Men’s National Teams in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup.
    • The details will be established by the new CBA between U.S. Soccer and the USWNT.
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