U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill to Ensure Equal Pay For All U.S. Athletes Engaged in International Competition

On December 21, 2022, the House of Representatives passed the Equal Pay for Team U.S.A. Act which will require all athletes, regardless of gender, representing the United States in international competition to be given equal pay and benefits in their sport.  The Act stems from the U.S. women’s soccer team’s recent legal battle with the U.S. Soccer Federation during which they sought to be paid as much as the men’s soccer team.  The Act would cover athletes in over 50 sports in which the United States competes globally and will task the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to handle oversight. 

Following the U.S. women’s soccer team’s legal battle, the women’s team signed a new collective bargaining agreement with the U.S. Soccer Federation which included equal distribution of money based on the men’s and women’s soccer teams’ performances in the FIFA World Cup. The Act would now ensure that similar equal pay arrangements exist for all athletes in any sport the U.S. competes in internationally. 

The bill now goes to President Joe Biden for his anticipated signature after the Act has passed the Senate and the House with unanimous support.  In a statement after the House passed the bill, U.S. soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone stated, “by sending this legislation to the President, both houses have sent a clear message that this is the standard for all National Teams in all sports and it underscores the importance of working with our athletes to achieve equal pay including equalizing international prize money.”

Individuals who believe their employer has subjected them to unequal pay practices or gender discrimination should seek legal counsel to analyze their potential claims. 

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About Camilo Burr

Camilo Burr's practice is focused on employment litigation. Camilo is an associate in the firm's New York office.

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