The United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer) and its men’s and women’s national teams agreed to a historic collective bargaining agreement guaranteeing equal pay between the two teams last week. The CBA runs through 2028 and resolves a dispute stretching back to 2016, when members of the U.S. women’s national team filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that U.S. Soccer paid the women’s team far less than the men’s team, despite the women’s team consistently outperforming the men’s team on the field. The dispute ended in a $24 million settlement that was to be finalized pending the approval of a new CBA.
The most notable provision of the CBA is the FIFA bonus pool sharing arrangement it incorporates. The arrangement, the first of its kind, will require the men’s and women’s teams to pool together their FIFA World Cup prize money and evenly split their earnings after U.S. soccer claims its portion. The bonus pools of prize money that FIFA awards teams for playing in the World Cup differs greatly between the men and women, with the men’s bonus pool dwarfing that of the women. This meant that, prior to the new CBA, the women’s team could earn much less than the men’s team even when they greatly outperformed them, which has frequently been the case.
The CBA also includes identical performance-based bonuses for the men’s and women’s teams and establishes a revenue sharing model in which both teams’ unions will receive the same cuts of commercial revenue and ticket revenue, among other new provisions.
This historic equal pay victory comes as the California Senate voted 27 to 9 to pass SB 1162, a bill aimed at narrowing the wage gap between men and women that would require companies to disclose salary ranges offered for various positions, make internal promotions available to all employees, and make pay data already reported to the state public over time. The bill now moves on to the Assembly.
Teukolsky Law would like to congratulate the women’s national team for their incredible achievements. Hopefully, their brave work and the resulting agreement guaranteeing equal wages will serve as examples for other organizations.
Lauren Teukolsky is the founder and owner of Teukolsky Law, A Professional Corporation.