Hope Solo to object to U.S. Soccer equal pay deal
U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati announced Thursday that he plans to file an objection in federal court to a proposed agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for equal pay between men and women.
He did so on behalf of women’s soccer coach Laura Harvey, who currently earns $1.2 million a year, according to a joint statement released Thursday by the federation, U.S. Soccer and Harvey.
Gulati called the proposed settlement “a mistake, as there are no provisions in any agreement that protect the interests of women who are victims of sex discrimination.”
The proposed agreement would require U.S. Soccer to pay $15 million in legal and administrative expenses to Harvey and $11.5 million to another female coach, Julie Foudy, of the Women’s National Football Team.
But Harvey and Foudy – as well as three other female soccer coaches who have filed grievances against U.S. Soccer over pay and promotion – have asked the commission to reject the proposed settlement. They have challenged the commission’s finding that gender-discriminatory pay practices do not violate the commission’s mandate.
The proposed settlement, which was filed by U.S. Soccer on March 1, would have required U.S. Soccer to implement the commission’s findings and guidelines that a “culture of gender bias” has been found at the highest levels of the federation as well as in the federation’s own women’s programs. It would have required the federation pay $15 million each to women who are victims of sex discrimination. And it would have established a special fund that allows women who are victims of sex discrimination to seek court injunctions against further discrimination.
The league, which is scheduled to announce its 2012 schedule on Friday, said in a statement that it was “disappointed” by Gulati’s decision to file an objection. “We fully support Commissioner [