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USWNT players’ equal pay appeal hearing set for March 7

Brad Smith/ ISI Photos

The next step in the U.S. women’s national team players’ fight for equal pay has a date. The hearing in their appeal case is scheduled for March 7 in Pasadena, Calif., three years after a group of USWNT players sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for inequitable pay on account of gender.

The oral arguments will be heard in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The identities of the three judges who will oversee the hearing will be released on Feb. 28.

“We hope 2022 will be the year of peace and health — and equal pay. We look forward to these oral arguments,” players spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement.

The players contend that they have not been paid equitably under their collective bargaining agreement in comparison to what the men’s team receives under its agreement. Per the lawsuit filed in March 2019, the group is seeking more than $64 million in damages and $3 million in interest under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

In May 2020, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled that the women declined a pay-to-play structure similar to that of the men while accepting greater base salaries and benefits, thus granting a summary judgement to the U.S. Soccer Federation. The sides have reached a settlement on the players’ accusation of discriminatory working conditions.

As CBA negotiations continue for both the women’s and men’s teams, U.S. Soccer said it has offered them identical contracts and proposed that they negotiate together on bonuses. Earlier this month, U.S. Soccer and the USWNT agreed to extend the labor contract through March.