Equal Pay is the Goal

Bending the rules?

We have not seen the last of Hope Solo. Since her termination from the US women’s soccer team in 2016, Solo has stirred up some legal excitement. Last August, the former goalie filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation under the claims of gender discrimination. According to the lawsuit, team members of the men’s division are allegedly paid higher or on a different scale than the women’s team, providing less of an opportunity for the women to make as much money. Solo encouraged her former teammates to file their own lawsuit.
Although she is no longer a member of the team, Solo was a key leader of the women’s division on and off the field. Her persistence in seeking justice for those who are wronged led others to believe in her fight against gender inequality. The current 28 members of the women’s team filed their lawsuit in March. Now, the US Soccer Federation is asking for the lawsuits to be consolidated into a joint action. The US Soccer Federation discounts the claims of Solo and the 28 team members, in particular, the federation’s violation of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. Part of the Equal Pay Act states that it is “job content, not job titles, that determines whether jobs are substantially equal.”
The federation claims that due to the separate agreements for the men and women teams, it is difficult to compare apples to oranges. While the women receive their set salary, the men earn money for appearances and team performance. Although both the men and women’s simple job descriptions are to play soccer, their contracts offer diverse stipulations. The federation contends that the differentiating component between the two payment structures is certainly not based on gender. Despite the US Soccer Federation’s attempt to halt the lawsuits in order to consolidate, there is a hearing set for April 29.