LOS ANGELES — The long delayed trial in the case of female players against the U.S. Soccer Federation has been pushed back again.
U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner said Friday he was delaying the trial date from March 9 to June 15 due to the unavailability of jurors during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
However, Klausner has a hearing scheduled for April 12 to approve a Dec. 1 settlement of claims of inequitable working conditions compared with the men’s team. That would leave the sides still disputing unequal pay claims that Klausner dismissed, a decision the women intend to appeal.
“We anticipate that the settlement — which achieves working conditions for the women players that they have fought many years to achieve — will be approved on April 12, and there will be no trial. This is simply an administrative update from the court,” players’ spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement. “Following approval of the settlement, we will proceed with an expedited appeal of the court’s decision on pay disparities between women and men in this sport.”
The December deal between the world champion American women and the sport’s U.S. governing body called for charter flights, hotel accommodations, venue selection and professional staff support equitable to that of the men’s national team.
Players sued the USSF in March 2019, claiming they have not been paid equitably under their collective bargaining agreement that runs through December 2021, compared to what the men’s team receives under its agreement that expired in December 2018. The women asked for more than $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Klausner dismissed the pay claim last May, ruling the women rejected a pay-to-play structure similar to the one in the men’s agreement and accepted greater base salaries and benefits than the men, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Players will seek to overturn Klausner’s dismissal at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but they can’t move forward with their appeal until Klausner gives final approval of the working conditions settlement.