USWNT agrees to mediation in discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer

The team will look to settle the complaint, which it filled in March as it continues to seek damages for what it believes is unfair treatment

The U.S. Soccer Federation has tentatively agreed to pursue mediation with the 28 U.S. women’s national team players who have filed a pay discrimination lawsuit, U.S. Soccer has confirmed.

The players filed suit in March, seeking financial damages as well as an end to what they call “discriminatory practices.”

The mediation is set to take place after the World Cup ends, with the USWNT currently set to face Spain on Monday in the last 16 after winning all three of their group-stage matches, setting a record in the process.

The lawsuit filed in March followed a wage discrimination suit that five USWNT players filed through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. With that matter remaining unresolved, the 28 players filed another suit in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

U.S. stars Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn are at the head of the list of players who filed suit, with the other 24 players listed below them in alphabetical order.

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The suit was under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and alleges that U.S. Soccer “paid only lip service to gender equality and continues to practice gender-based discrimination against its champion female employees.”

U.S. Soccer provided a statement to The Wall Street Journal, who first reported the mediation was set to take place.

“While we welcome the opportunity to mediate, we are disappointed the plaintiffs’ counsel felt it necessary to share this news publicly during the Women’s World Cup and create any possible distraction from the team’s focus on the tournament and success on the field,” a U.S. Soccer spokesperson said.

“We look forward to everyone returning their focus to the efforts on the field as we aim to win another title.”

The USWNT has won three World Cup titles and is seeking its fourth in France this summer.

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