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U.S. Women’s Soccer Stars Fight For Equal Pay

Katherine Neff

On March 31, 2016, five players from the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing the U.S. Soccer Federation of paying them less than their male counterparts in violation of the Equal Pay Act.

Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn, who are all members of the World Cup championship team, have unsuccessfully tried to negotiate for higher wages through their union. The fact that these players have a collective bargaining agreement, and subsequent memorandum of understanding may have an impact on their Equal Pay Act claims.

The pay disparity between the men’s and women’s teams is astounding. For example, each year, the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams are required to play a minimum of 20 friendly matches. The top five players from the men’s team receive $406,000 in compensation on average per year for these games, compared to the top five women who receive only $72,000. For a World Cup victory, a male U.S. soccer player could earn $390,000, while Lloyd, for example, only earned $75,000 for last year’s World Cup victory. Further, men on the U.S. team earn $69,000 for making the Word Cup roster, while the women only receive $15,000.

Although the men’s World Cup generates more money globally than the women’s event, the U.S. Soccer Federation has forecasted that the men’s U.S. Soccer team will lose approximately $1 million in 2017, while the women’s team will generate a profit of $5.2 million.

We will have to see whether the collective bargaining agreement and/or memorandum of understanding (in which the union agreed to this compensation) will impact the claims alleged by the five players, or if the U.S. Soccer Federation will come to an agreement with the players before either the EEOC or a court weighs in. For more information, read these articles from Forbes, The New York Times and NPR.


Mississippi Makes Discrimination Against LGBT Persons The Law In The Hospitality State

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Last Tuesday Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law a bill permitting businesses, individuals and religious organizations to deny goods and services to LGBT persons if providing such goods and services would offend “sincerely held religious beliefs.” The law takes effect July 1, 2016. This move by the state prevents cities and towns from putting in place anti-discrimination protections for LGBT persons. There has been widespread criticism of the law. The Mississippi Economic Council, the ACLU and numerous other organizations have announced their opposition to the law. Elected officials in various parts of the country have banned non-essential state travel to Mississippi. Bryan Adams cancelled a concert. Some of the state’s largest employers, including MGM Resorts, Toyota, Nissan, and Tyson Foods have denounced the law. More than a dozen corporations, including Coca-Cola, GE and Whole Foods have joined with the Human Rights Campaign in calling for repeal of the law. Similar bills have been proposed and discussed in a number of states and localities, but the threat of losing business has often shut discussions down. We’ll see how this plays out.

Mississippi OKs religious freedom bill decried as anti-LGBT …

Mississippi governor signs law allowing businesses to …

States, Cities Limit Official Travel To Mississippi Over … – NPR

Why Mississippi’s New Anti-LGBT Law Is the Most …


First Lawsuits Asserting Sexual Orientation Discrimination Filed By EEOC

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog
Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the first two lawsuits it has ever filed taking the position that sexual orientation discrimination is covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division.
In EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center, the EEOC is alleging that a gay male employee was subjected to harassment because of his sexual orientation when his manager repeatedly referred to him using a number of anti-gay epithets and made offensive comments about his sexuality and sex life. When the employee complained to a supervisor the supervisor said the harasser was just doing his job. The supervisor refused to take any action to stop the harassment. After weeks of harassment, the employee resigned.
In EEOC v IFCO systems, the EEOC is alleging that a lesbian employee was harassed by her boss because of her sexual orientation. The employee’s boss made numerous offensive comments and sexually suggestive gestures. The employee complained to management and called the employee hotline. Days later she was fired.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of sex. As the federal law enforcement agency charged with interpreting Title VII, the EEOC has concluded that harassment and other discrimination because of sexual orientation is prohibited sex discrimination. We’ll see how these lawsuits play out.
EEOC Files First Suits Challenging Sexual Orientation …


Judges Face Age Discrimination Too

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Judge Peter O’Connell (67 years of age) filed a lawsuit last week in Michigan challenging a Michigan rule that prevents judges 70 years of age or over from running for re-election. The age restriction was put in place in 1955. In 2014, the age restriction prevented 24 Michigan judges from seeking re-election (4% of sitting judges were 70 or older at the time). Currently, judges are the only state employees with an age restriction in Michigan. Last year two joint resolutions were introduced in the State Legislature (one in the House and one in the Senate) that would allow voters to either raise the age restriction to 75 or remove it completely. The Michigan Judges Association supports the removal of the age restriction entirely. The reality is people are living longer and are able to be productive later in life. Age restrictions like this just don’t make sense.  Find out more here.



A Good Day at the Office

Freking Myers & Reul

Yesterday, a federal jury in Cincinnati determined Chipotle Mexican Grill wrongfully terminated three of our clients on the basis of their gender and violated the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Kelly Myers, Randy Freking and Kati Neff have been investigating and pursuing this case for over four years. Yesterday’s verdict was the culmination of a two week trial in U.S. District Court.

“We hope this sends a message to Denver that gender discrimination is not good for business,” Kelly Myers, as quoted by The Cincinnati Enquirer in their coverage of the verdict.

Here are links to other coverage of the verdict:

WCPO Channel 9 | WLWT Channel 5 | Fox19 Now | Cincinnati Business Courier


The Cincinnati Enquire