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U.S. Women’s Soccer Pay Bias Trial Pushed Back Due to Covid-19

April 9, 2020, 2:18 PM

Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and more than 20 other women’s soccer players will have to wait a little longer to present their pay discrimination claims against the U.S. Soccer Federation Inc. to a jury, the Central District of California said.

Trial in the closely-watched case will now start June 16 instead of May 5, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California said Wednesday, granting the parties’ joint application for guidance on key dates in the litigation in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The case, which has been certified as a class action by Judge R. Gary Klausner and apparently seeks damages in excess of $67 million, was filed by Morgan, Rapinoe, and the others in March 2019. The women on the U.S. Women’s National Team accuse the federation of paying them substantially less than the less successful men’s team because of their sex. Goalie Hope Solo filed a separate lawsuit in the Northern District of California, which has been stayed pending the outcome in her teammates’ class suit.

Klausner also granted Wednesday the parties’ joint motion to clarify the record on their competing motions for pre-trial summary judgment to make clear that U.S. Soccer has abandoned any argument that any lesser pay received by the women was because they don’t perform work requiring “equal skill, effort and responsibility” to the men.

He also granted a motion by nine Seyfarth Shaw LLP lawyers to withdraw from the federation’s legal defense team.

Winston & Strawn LLP represents the women. Latham & Watkins LLP represents U.S. Soccer.

The case is Morgan v. U.S. Soccer Fed’n, Inc., C.D. Cal., No. 2:19-cv-01717, trial date continued 4/8/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Dorrian in Washington at pdorrian@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

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