Jeffrey Kessler, co-chair of Winston & Strawn’s Sports Law Practice, was featured in the Washington Post article “The U.S. Women's Soccer Team Is Playing to Win on—and off—the Field” published on August 4, 2016. The article discusses the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s social media campaign to advertise gender inequities and draw attention to the failure of the U.S. Soccer Federation to provide equal pay to the members of the Women's National Team.
In March, five World Cup champions filed a wage discrimination complaint on behalf of the U.S. women’s soccer team with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) of wage discrimination. The team is requesting that the USSF grant wages equivalent to those of the men’s national team and back pay for past violations.
In May, the women received an endorsement from the Senate, which passed a unanimous resolution calling for an immediate end to gender “pay inequity” and demanding that U.S. Soccer “treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve.”
As the article explains, the U.S. women’s team is the most dominant team in the history of the sport; and in the last year and this year, they have brought in more revenue than the men’s team.
Mr. Kessler, who represents the players, told the Washington Post: “One employer may not discriminate between its male and female employees under the law. Legally, they are required to provide equal pay for equal work.”