At A Glance
We successfully represented the players of the US Women’s National Soccer team in their groundbreaking equal pay case.
$24mIn back pay damages awarded.
$2mFor post-career goals and initiatives.
ScopeThe United States Soccer Federation governs soccer across the entire United States of America. It is the employer of the players on both the women’s and men’s national teams.
SituationPlayers on the women’s team contended that US Soccer paid them less than it paid those on the men’s team and offered them lower success bonuses than it offered to players on the men’s team.
ChallengeThe players on the women’s team sued US Soccer for pay discrimination in violation of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. But the district court granted summary judgment to US Soccer, saying the women’s claims could not go forward to trial.
Challenge MetFaced with this catastrophic judgment – and with the future of fairness in the women’s sport in jeopardy – the players turned to Mayer Brown to take over the appeal.
Against All OddsWe turned the case around. The Mayer Brown team submitted powerful briefs on behalf of the players. It also convinced the US government, the US Men’s National Team, and many others to file amicus briefs in support of the female players. And it worked closely with the media and members of Congress to put pressure on US Soccer to settle the case.
Successful OutcomeThanks to Mayer Brown’s strategic approach, the parties agreed to settle for $24 million in backpay damages – and change the future of the game. We secured a guarantee of equal pay going forward for all future games, including the World Cup.
Shaping The FutureAs part of this work the USWNT players announced a new collective-bargaining agreement with US soccer, ensuring equal pay for the women’s and men’s teams for the first time. The players’ success in this fight has prompted other teams and federations across the globe to follow suit and fight for equal pay.
The USWNTPA congratulates the players and their litigation team on their historic success in fighting decades of discrimination perpetuated by the U.S. Soccer Federation.