The United States' women's soccer team made Texas soccer fans proud when they played their way to snag the reigning spot as the World Cup champions. Carli Lloyd, a member of the team, was even named the female player of the year by the International Federation of Association Football -- FIFA. Despite all of the accomplishments by the women's team, some of its star players claim that their wages consistently trail behind those earned by those on the national men's team.
Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, and Lloyd joined together to file a complaint on behalf of their entire team. Filed with the EEOC -- the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- the complaint alleges that members of the men's national team are paid significantly more than members of the women's team. This discrepancy can be seen across all levels of games and not just for high profile matches, such as qualifiers for competing in the FIFA World Cup.
As part of the complaint, the players pointed out that their recent World Cup win pulled in over 23 million TV viewers, setting a record for soccer match views in America. The women also cite their ongoing achievements that led toward greater revenue generation for U.S. Soccer. They believe that the Soccer Federation is in violation of current federal wage laws as the men's team brought in $20 million less than the women's team in 2015 revenue, yet currently earns approximately four times as much as the women. The women's team is also projected to earn the Soccer Federation $5 million in profits while the men's team is projected to lose the federation at least $1 million.
Wage and hour law violations are not restricted to any single career field or workplace, and the recent complaint by the women's soccer team is a prime example of the ongoing discrimination experienced by many workers. No matter a person's age, background, or other personal characteristics, he or she is still legally entitled to a fair and non-discriminatory paycheck as mandated by federal law. When workers in Texas are denied their rightful wages, they can take action against their employer in order to pursue recovery of what they rightfully earned.
Source: NPR, "U.S. Women's Soccer Team Members File Federal Equal-Pay Complaint", Bill Chappell, March 31, 2016