Many people in Massachusetts and across of the United States tend to hold to the belief that wage discrimination disappears the farther one climbs up the employment chain. A recent filing by five women on the women's U.S. national soccer team smashes that pervasive myth, highlighting the ongoing issues that employees of all fields and levels can experience. Their lawsuit claims that the United States Soccer Federation is violating wage and hour laws.
Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Hope Solo are three of the five women who filed the suit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of the rest of their team. According to the claims, the women point out that they are still severely underpaid when compared to the U.S. men's national team. Despite generating approximately $20 million in revenue more than the men's team, they average paychecks that are four times smaller than their male counterparts. The women's team also recently scored a World Cup win.
Lloyd points out that she has played for the team for 15 years, and in that period of time, the typical response from the soccer federation tends to be that the women should simply be grateful for the opportunity to play. That response, she believes, is not something the male soccer players would receive. The members point out their fight has been focused on equality, and that it boils down to receiving equal pay for putting in equal amounts of work. The federation has expressed disappointment in the lawsuit, insisting that it is committed to engaging in just pay negotiations.
Federal wage and hour laws are intended to create an environment where workers are paid a just salary. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination continues to occur in virtually all career fields and can affect workers at any level of employment. The women's U.S. soccer team not only seeks just pay and compensation, but can also highlight the ongoing issues that workers in Massachusetts continue to face.
Source: ESPN, "Women's national team files wage-discrimination action vs. US Soccer Federation", March 31, 2016