Members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team who sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in March over allegations of gender discrimination can pursue their claims as a class action, a California court ruled on Friday.
The decision comes two months after the group filed a motion for class certification seeking to include all women called up to the national team over the multi-year period specified in the lawsuit, in addition to those originally named.
The governing body for soccer in the United States has maintained that the men’s and women’s teams are paid differently due to differences in their collective bargaining agreements.
In granting class status, the judge essentially rejected U.S. soccer’s claims that many of the women named in the lawsuit had earned more than their top-earning male counterparts over the same period.
All 28 members of the U.S. squad sued U.S. soccer with allegations of gender discrimination just three months before they opened the successful defense of their world cup title in France this year.
The players, a group that includes stars Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, said they have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts even though their performance have been superior to the men’s team.