Selendy & Gay Files Amicus Brief Supporting U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in Fight for Equal Pay

Selendy & Gay Files Amicus Brief Supporting U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in Fight for Equal Pay

July 30, 2021

Selendy & Gay has filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of the National Women’s Law Center, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and 63 additional organizations to support professional soccer players on the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) who are fighting for equal pay under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

The USWNT is one of the most successful teams of all time, in any sport. However, the U.S. Soccer Federation pays players on the USWNT at substantially lower rates than their male counterparts on the U.S. Men’s National Team, even though they won more games and at higher levels of competition than the men’s team.

In 2019, USWNT filed a federal lawsuit challenging their consistently unequal pay

In May 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed the equal pay claims, holding that the USWNT players agreed in their collective bargaining agreement to be paid at lower rates and that their total compensation was comparable to the men’s team. The USWNT appealed to the Ninth Circuit. 

In the brief, the amici discuss the pervasive harms of the gender wage gap and argue that reversal is required because the district court improperly disregarded the disparate rates of pay offered to the USWNT and erroneously interpreted a collective bargaining agreement to supersede federal law.

The Selendy & Gay Team 

Representing the amici from Selendy & Gay are Caitlin Halligan, Ester Murdukhayeva, Hannah Belitz, Annie Arcoleo, and summer associate Vinita Davey.