LOS ANGELES (AP) – A proposed $24 million settlement between the U.S. women’s soccer players and the American Sports Confederation received preliminary approval Thursday from a federal judge, who set Dec. 5 for final approval. done
U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner granted the petition for approval by the players.
“Most significantly, the non-reciprocal settlement agreement fulfills the plaintiffs’ objective for the lawsuit: equal pay,” he wrote. “The court is satisfied that the settlement is a fair and reasonable solution.”
The players, including Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sorbron and Alex Morgan, filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2016. The players sued three years later, seeking damages under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The parties settled part of the working conditions in December 2020, dealing with issues such as charter flights, accommodation and playing surfaces.
They agreed in February to split the remaining $22 million into individual amounts proposed by the players. Additionally, the settlement calls for the United States Soccer Federation to establish a fund with $2 million to benefit players in their post-football careers and charitable efforts aimed at promoting women’s sports.
Klausner wrote that the parties agreed that settlement funds would be distributed to players based on playing time and that their attorneys expected to request “no more than about 30 percent of the combined fund.”
The settlement was contingent on reaching a collective bargaining agreement with the USSF to pay the men’s and women’s teams equally. The federation in May announced separate employment contracts with the union for both national teams until December 2028.
Klausner told the USSF to send the players’ attorneys a list of eligible players within 14 days and then gave the players’ attorneys 21 days to notify the eligible players.
Klausner set a Dec. 1 deadline for filing motions for attorneys’ fees and final approval.