In August of 2018, Hope Solo filed a federal lawsuit against U.S. Soccer to force the Federation to comply with the Equal Pay Act and end the disparity in pay between its Men’s and Women’s National Teams. U.S. Soccer filed its response on December 21 asking the court to dismiss the case. On January 14, Hope filed her opposition to the Federation’s Motion to Dismiss and a hearing has been set for February 21, 2019.
Hope addressed the Federation’s response in a statement to the media:
“U.S. Soccer’s response to the complaint I filed back in August of 2018 seeking relief from the Federation’s violation of the Equal Pay Act makes it very clear that U.S. Soccer has no intention of ever doing the right thing. The Federation continues to distort the facts and fabricate arguments meant to confuse the public and justify its violation of a federal law that has been in place since 1963. U.S. Soccer fundamentally believes women do not deserve equal pay and views the men and the women as “…entirely different categories of professional athletes.” Thankfully, the law isn’t about what they believe, it’s about protecting women from wage discrimination and unequal treatment.”
COMPLAINT BACKGROUND AND TIMELINE
- March 31, 2016 – Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn file Equal Pay Act and Title VII wage discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
- Summer 2018 – the EEOC complaint is at a standstill. After more than two years, the EEOC has still not issued a ruling.
- August 24, 2018 – Solo files suit against the USSF in federal court to challenge U.S. Soccer’s violation of the Equal Pay Act and wage discrimination in the Northern District of California.
- December 21, 2018 – the Federation issues its response and Motion to Dismiss pursuant to rule 12(b)(6) arguing Solo’s complaint is insufficient to state an Equal Pay Act violation and that she has failed to exhaust her administrative remedies.
- January 14, 2019 – Solo files a response to the Federation’s Motion to Dismiss detailing why her claim satisfies the pleading requirements and sets forth a plausible cause for relief under the Equal Pay Act.
- February 21, 2019 – First hearing scheduled