U.S. women’s soccer seeks to clear way for appeal in fair pay fight

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The United States women’s soccer team sought Friday to a clear path in court to an appeal in its four-year equal-pay battle against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

On May 1, U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles rejected the core of the women’s $66 million claim — that they’re not paid what men would be if they won the World Cup titles earned by the women.

The judge appeared to have agreed with the federation, which has previously said the women “specifically asked for and negotiated a completely different contract than the men’s national team.”

Motions filed Friday asked Klausner to finalize his decision and put off a June 16 trial on the rest of the suit — he said they had a case when it came to claims of unequal travel and accommodations — while the team appeals they pay issue to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“Allowing an appeal to proceed to the Ninth Circuit now would conserve resources for both the parties and the Court and could accelerate the ultimate resolution of this dispute,” the plaintiffs said in a motion asking for a final judgment.

In a statement Friday, Molly Levinson, spokeswoman for the women’s team, rejected the judge’s rationale in ruling against the plaintiffs on compensation.

“The argument that women are paid enough if they make close to the same amount as men while winning more than twice as often is not equal pay,” she said in a statement Friday. ” The argument that women gave up a right to equal pay by accepting the best collective bargaining agreement possible in response to the Federation’s refusal to put equal pay on the table is not a legitimate reason for continuing to discriminate against them.”

The Friday filings include a declaration that the motions to clear the way for an appeal are unopposed by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The federation did not immediately respond to a request for its direct response.

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