U.S. Women's Soccer Team Cannot Strike, But Continues to Pursue Equal Pay, Conditions

06.07.2016

A federal court has ruled that the United States Women's National Soccer Team is not permitted to strike as part of any attempt to negotiate increased/equal pay and/or playing conditions (turf vs. grass) with the United States Soccer Federation. The Court determined that the players' previous Union representative/attorney had agreed to extend the prior collective bargaining agreement with a no-strike clause, and that a majority of the players ratified the extension.  The Court's decision is consistent with the federal policy in favor of supporting agreements between unions and management whenever possible.

However, the larger issue may well be the increasing number of women and women’s groups alleging unequal pay and/or benefits.  While the law has long banned pay discrimination, recent statutes such as the Equal Pay Act, have made such claims easier to pursue, and increased the penalties for violations.  Employers are cautioned to analyze their pay structures, and discuss any discrepancies with employment law counsel.