Press Release

On Equal Pay Day, U.S. Rep. Castor Calls for Female Athletes to be Paid on Par with Male Counterparts

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Washington, April 2, 2019 | comments
Today on Equal Pay Day, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) introduced a resolution to the U.S. House calling for female athletes to be paid on par with their male counterparts. The resolution also calls for organizers of world class competitions to actively take part in combating the wage gap.
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Today on Equal Pay Day, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) introduced a resolution to the U.S. House calling for female athletes to be paid on par with their male counterparts.  The resolution also calls for organizers of world class competitions to actively take part in combating the wage gap.

“Today on Equal Pay Day, we must recommit ourselves to fully and finally securing fairness, equality and economic justice for women,” U.S. Rep. Castor said.  “Pay discrimination persists in all types of workplaces, even in athletic settings for our female athletes: despite continuing to break attendance and viewership records and many times generating more revenue than the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has faced an outsized wage and treatment gap compared to their male counterparts.  This and any kind of inequitable treatment is wrong and I am proud of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team for recently standing up for pay equity when they filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation.  The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team athletes serve as courageous role models for pay equity and equal treatment.”

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (CT3), Rick Larsen (WA2) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL23) are original cosponsors of U.S. Rep. Castor’s resolution.

Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date into the year when women’s wages finally catch up to what similarly situated men were paid in the previous year.  Hardworking Florida women earn only 87 cents for every dollar earned by a man – amounting to a median annual wage gap of $5,501.  This inequity impacts lifetime earnings and retirement savings.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Castor helped lead the charge in passing H.R. 7, the landmark Paycheck Fairness Act, which updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963.  Among its many key provisions, the Paycheck Fairness Act requires employers to prove and justify that pay disparities are legitimate and are not sex-based, bans retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages and ensures women can receive the same robust remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subjected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity.

“My Democratic colleagues in the U.S. House and I understand how pay inequities are a drag on the economic prospects of families across America.  We will continue to stand up for equal pay until we have fully secured economic justice for women and progress for working families.  Calling for equal pay for our female athletes is just one of many ways we can push for equal rights for women across our nation – because when women succeed, America succeeds,” U.S. Rep. Castor concluded.

U.S. Rep. Castor serves as a co-chair of the Congressional Soccer Caucus and has been a longtime proponent of equal rights for the nation’s female athletes, including filing a resolution in 2015 expressing that female athletes should be paid the same as their male counterparts, advocating for equity at U.S. Soccer and urging organizers of world class competitions to actively combat the wage gap.  She has also pressed on the need for better female representation within FIFA.

The text of the resolution introduced by U.S. Rep. Castor can be found below:

116th CONGRESS
1st Session

H. CON. RES. _

 

[Expressing the sense of Congress that female athletes be paid the same as their male counterparts and organizers of world class competitions actively take part in combating the wage gap.]


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Ms. Castor of Florida submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on _______________


CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

[Expressing the sense of Congress that female athletes be paid the same as their male counterparts and organizers of world class competitions actively take part in combating the wage gap.]

Whereas Congress supports the U.S. Women's National Team filing a Federal Lawsuit Against U.S. Soccer federation (USSF) for ongoing federation policies and practices as systemic gender discrimination, including travel conditions, promotion of games, and coaching and medical staff;

Whereas for the sake of honest, transparent and equitable competition, the United States should be the leader in reform efforts and women’s soccer can be a key;

Whereas the U.S soccer federation must elevate female soccer teams and female leaders to provide opportunities for girls and women;

Whereas the National Women's Soccer League has a pay ceiling per player of just $37,800;

Whereas that's compared to an average of more than $300,000 and a median of about $100,000 for men's Major League Soccer;

Whereas each team in the NWSL has a salary cap of just $265,000—compared to more than $3 million for men;

Whereas the U.S. women, as international soccer players representing the federation, perform the same duties as the men’s national team players, but spend more time playing, practicing, traveling and participating in media sessions;

Whereas the U.S. women played 19 more times than the men from 2015 to 2018, for example;

Whereas the team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning three Women's World Cup titles (including the first ever Women's World Cup in 1991), four Olympic women's gold medals (including the first ever Olympic Women's soccer tournament in 1996), eight CONCACAF Gold Cup wins, and ten Algarve Cups;

Whereas the USSF “continually rejected” the women’s national team’s request for equal pay and in 2012 offered to compensate women’s players only if they won games against FIFA-ranked top-10 teams, but not for losing or tying matches, nor for beating teams outside the top 10 of world rankings;

Whereas the lawsuit states that in 2016, a representative of the USSF said “market realities are such that the women do not deserve to paid equally to the men.”;

Whereas the women’s team is subject to matches on inferior surfaces at a rate far in excess of that required of MNT players; and

Whereas USSF arranged charter flights for the U.S. men’s team at least 17 times in 2017 but did not do so once for the women.: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that female athletes should be paid the same as their male counterparts and organizers of world class competitions actively take part in combating the wage gap

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