The U.S. Women’s soccer team won’t be able to immediately appeal a judge’s decision to throw out their pay discrimination claims. The team had wanted the immediate appeal to avoid potentially two trials relating to their gender discrimination claims, one of which was upheld by the same judge now denying their ability to quickly appeal.
U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled in May that the women’s team had not proven their pay discrimination claims, finding that they actually turned down the very equal pay structure they now demand, The Daily Wire previously reported.
“The WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,” Klausner wrote. “Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA (collective bargaining agreement) worse than the MNT (men’s national team) CBA by reference to what they would have made had they been paid under the MNT’s pay-to-play terms structure when they themselves rejected such a structure.”
Klausner did, however, uphold the team’s claims that they were treated unfairly by the U.S. Soccer Federation in terms of perks, as less money was spent on their commercial airfare, hotels, medical services, and training than men’s soccer. Klausner also dismissed a claim from the women’s team that they were discriminated against because they played more games on artificial turf.
After Klausner’s ruling, the women’s team asked him to enter a final judgement so they could appeal the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and delay a trial that previously was set for June 16. The Associated Press has now reported that Klausner has denied the team’s request that would allow them to immediately appeal his decision. He has now scheduled the trial for their discriminatory working conditions claim for September 15.
“The granting of an immediate appeal will not eliminate the possibility of two trials or the possibility of successive appeals involving interlocking facts,” Klausner wrote Tuesday. “The court has declined the parties’ request to stay trial pending the resolution of any appeal. And should a jury render a verdict unfavorable to plaintiffs on their remaining claims, there is no reason to think plaintiffs will not appeal that decision.”
The women’s team sued in March 2018 claiming they were denied equal pay by the USSF. The USSF later released a “fact sheet” explaining that the women’s team lost the federation millions of dollars and yet they still out-earned their male counterparts. The women’s team, while claiming unequal treatment, collectively bargained for their pay structure, just like the men’s team. The women receive a base salary of $100,000 each year and an additional salary of $67,500 to $72,500 for playing in the National Women’s Soccer League. The men’s team does not have this agreement, they only receive bonuses. The women’s team also receives bonuses at a higher percentage of what the men’s team earns, yet because women’s soccer brings in less money, they receive less in bonuses. The women’s team also has benefits like a retirement plan and health insurance. The men’s team does not receive any benefits.
Because the women team rejected a pay structure equal to the men’s team and then claimed discrimination after they agreed to their current pay structure, the pay discrimination claims were dismissed. The team said it plans to appeal no matter how long it takes.
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