We recently blogged about changes in the law concerning equal pay for women. See, U.S. Soccer Team Sues for Equal Pay, March 11, 2019. This included advice concerning steps to take by employers to ensure compliance with the law. See, The Importance of Engaging in a Pay Equity Study, February 4, 2019.
Last Wednesday, four Democratic senators, including Dianne Feinstein (CA), Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), proposed a bill known as the Even Playing Field Act to require equal pay regardless of sex for members of United States national sports teams. Finding that the U.S. Women’s national soccer team has outperformed men on the field and generated slightly more revenue than the men’s national team, the women were paid just 38 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. The pay disparity is not unique to soccer. In 2017, the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team threatened to boycott competition if they did not receive a pay raise from its governing body.
In 2016, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling for the U.S. Soccer Federation to immediately eliminate gender pay inequality, but the pay gap persisted thereafter. Based upon the recent success of the USWNT at the World Cup, it appears that their equal pay goal (no pun intended) now will finally find “the back of the net”.