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U.S. Women’s National Team sues U.S. Soccer for gender discrimination

All 28 members of the world champion United States women’s national team have filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation on Friday.

This action is a significant escalation of the group’s long-running battle for pay equity and working conditions. It comes only a few months before the team will begin its defense of its Women’s World Cup title.

The New York Times reports that in the lawsuit, the 28 players accused the federation — their employer and the governing body for soccer in the United States — of years of what they labeled “institutionalized gender discrimination.”

The issues, the athletes said, affected not only their paychecks but also where they played and how often, how they trained, their medical treatment and coaching they received, and even how they traveled to matches.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

It mirrored many issues raised in a wage-discrimination complaint that were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. The lack of progress in that suit led the players to seek and receive a right-to-sue letter from the E.E.O.C. in February. Their decision taking their case to federal court effectively ends the E.E.O.C. complaint.

filed by five United States players with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. The lack of a resolution, or even any noticeable action, on that now three-year-old complaint led the players to seek, and receive, a right-to-sue letter from the E.E.O.C. in February. The decision to take their case to federal court effectively ends the E.E.O.C. complaint.

Included in the group are star players Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe and reserve members of the team. They have requested class-action status.

This group seeks to represent any current or former players who have been national team members since Feb. 4, 2015. This group claimed the most recent World Cup in Vancouver and is the nucleus of the team that will is slated to defend that title in France this summer.

With back and damages, the potential award could reach into the millions of dollars, the Times said.

Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin

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