The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Defends World Cup Champion Title—and Their Right for Equal Pay

By Alanna Sakovits

In March 2016, current World Cup players Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, and Becky Sauerbrunn, as well as former team member Hope Solo, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against their employer, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), alleging that they were being discriminated against on the basis of gender by being paid substantially less than their male counterparts on the U.S. Men’s National Team. All members of the team have since joined together to file a lawsuit in federal court to assert these discrimination allegations. See Alex Morgan et al. v. United States Soccer Federation, 19-cv-01717 (C.D. Cal. 2019). The Complaint alleges, in part, as follows:

Despite the fact that these female and male players are called upon to perform the same job responsibilities on their team and participate in international competitions for their single common employer, the USSF, the female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts. This is true even though their performance has been superior to that of the male players – with the female players, in contrast to male players, becoming world champions.


The USSF, in fact, has admitted that it pays its female player employees less than its male player employees and has gone so far as to claim that “market realities are such that the women do not deserve to be paid equally to the men.” The USSF admits to such purposeful gender discrimination even during times when the WNT earned more profit, played more games, won more games, earned more championships, and/or garnered higher television audiences.

The USWNT’s fight for a second consecutive, and fourth total, World Cup title may have broader implications for social justice and gender equality. As their fight for the World Cup title and gender equality continues, V&A will be rooting them on in both!

Are you having problems with your employer? We've successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

More From Our Blog


V&A Sponsors The Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law New York 2019 Rooftop Networking Event

By Marta Nadgorska

V&A proudly partnered with The Coalition for an evening of networking among attorneys from various legal practices.

Continue Reading

New York State Lawmakers Approve Sweeping Reforms to the State’s Anti-Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Laws

By Jack Newhouse and Alanna Sakovits

On June 19, 2019, the New York State Legislature approved a series of expanded protections for workers subject to discriminatory conduct,...

Continue Reading

V&A Attends the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law

By Alanna Sakovits

When asked about the current legal trend, Justice Ginsburg repeated her quote: "A great man once said that the true symbol of the...

Continue Reading