Equal Pay for Women In Sports

The Issue

For women in sports, the demand for equal pay has been met with egregious criticism. One of them being that women’s teams do not draw the same attendance nor do they generate the same revenue as their male counterparts and therefore should not be compensated at the same rate. This is known as a “Market Force defense it is has been used to continually justify paying women less.

The Law

The Equal Pay Act makes it illegal to pay employees differently based on gender. So long as the work the employees are doing are substantially similar jobs. The act covers multiple forms of payment including salary, overtime, bonuses, and stock options. The United States Soccer Federation, whom all 28 members of the US Women’s National Team are filing suit against, claims that “market realities are such that the women do not deserve to be paid equally to the men.” In accordance with the Equal Pay Act, the federation will have to prove that the members of both the men’s and women’s teams do not have to be compensated at the same rate. 

Seeking an Attorney

The process of calculating salary is complex. The rate of pay, amenities, benefits, and training are all dependent on the performance of both the employee and the company. Unfortunately, in some cases, discrimination and bias can also play a factor. Employers throughout all industries have the ability to incite bias and reinforce discriminatory practices and if you believe that you are affected by gender-based wage discrimination and belong to a protected class please contact an attorney to learn more about your rights.