equal pay for equal work
August 15, 2019

Mediation talks between the U.S. Women's National Team and the U.S. Soccer Federation ended Wednesday without any resolution or agreement to hold discussions again.

More than two dozen members of the team filed a federal gender discrimination lawsuit against the USSF in March, alleging in the suit that "the female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts. This is true even though their performance has been superior to that of the male players — with the female players, in contrast to male players, becoming world champions."

The team's spokeswoman, Molly Levinson, said when mediation talks began earlier this week, the players were "full of hope. Today, we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the Federation's determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior."

In response, USSF spokesman Neil Buethe told USA Today the team has received "compensation and support that exceeds any other women's team in the world. Despite inflammatory statements from their spokesperson, which are intended to paint our actions inaccurately and unfairly, we are undaunted in our efforts to continue discussions in good faith." Catherine Garcia

March 9, 2019

The U.S. women's national soccer team is heading to the courtroom.

All 28 members of the national squad's current pool of players filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on Friday.

The suit said that although female and male U.S. soccer players perform the same job responsibilities, the female players — despite producing superior on-field results — are paid less money. Historically, the women's team is one of the best teams in the world and they have three World Cup trophies and 4 Olympic gold medals to show for it. The men's side, on the other hand, failed to qualify for last year's World Cup.

The suit cites that if both the men's and women's teams played twenty friendlies per year, male players would earn $260,320 to the female players' $99,000.

"Each of us is extremely proud to wear the United States jersey, and we also take seriously the responsibility that comes with that," forward Alex Morgan said in a statement. "We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility."

The lawsuit comes just three months before the FIFA Women's World Cup, which will take place in France in June, when the U.S. side will look to defend their 2015 title. Tim O'Donnell

March 8, 2017

On International Women's Day on Wednesday, Iceland announced a new law that will require public and private companies to pay employees equally "regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality," The Associated Press reported. AP noted Iceland seems to be the first country to ever mandate equal pay for even private firms, though it pointed out other countries and U.S. states have "equal-salary certificate policies."

To ensure companies are obeying the mandate, the Icelandic government will require companies with 25 or more employees on staff to get certification proving compliance. The legislation is expected to gain approval from lawmakers, despite some criticism that it's "a burden to put on companies." The Icelandic government is aiming to enact the law by 2020.

Icelandic Equality and Social Affairs Minister Thorsteinn Viglundsson said Wednesday that "the time is right to do something radical about this issue." "Equal rights are human rights. We need to make sure that men and women enjoy equal opportunity in the workplace," Viglundsson said.

Already, Iceland ranks first in the world for gender equality, per the World Economic Forum's measurement, but the new policy is intended to help the Nordic country reach its goal of putting an end to the pay gap by 2022. Becca Stanek

April 12, 2016

While lamenting the gender pay gap, President Obama remained hopeful about women's future as he marked Equal Pay Day on Tuesday by dedicating the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum as a national monument. "If you don't believe we're going to close the wage gap, you need to come to this house, because this house has a story to tell," Obama said, referring to the Washington, D.C. building that's housed the National Women's Party — which is responsible for writing hundreds of pieces of local, state, and federal legislation supporting equal rights for women — since 1929.

Obama predicts that in the future, people will be "astonished that there was ever a time when women were vastly outnumbered in the boardroom or in Congress, that there was ever a time when a woman had never sat in the Oval Office."

"I don't know how long it will take to get there," Obama continued, "but I know we're getting closer to that day." Becca Stanek

March 25, 2015

A recent study predicts that American women won't earn the same amount as men until 2058, and Jon Stewart brought Kristen Schaal on The Daily Show to discuss it. They talked about the laws that are in place, and the bigger changes that need to happen for pay parity to become a reality. Still, if it's so hard to change society and laws to get women equal pay, Schaal said, why are we a year away from commercial flying cars and 15 years from sending humans to Mars?

"They've been talking about that shit forever — the mars, and the flying cars, 'oh, we're gonna have jet packs, dinner in a pill'," Stewart protested. "I've seen The Jetsons.... Give me something real." She does. "You're telling me we're going to print a human heart out of a Xerox machine before women get pay equality?" Stewart asked. No, Schaal said, we'll print hearts "30 years before women get pay equality." She suggests that women might be better off 3D-printing a different organ if they want their fair share. You can probably guess which one. —Peter Weber

March 24, 2015

A new study finds that despite the fact that women outnumber men in nursing by more than 10 to 1, men still make more money.

In a study published Tuesday in JAMA, researchers looked at data from the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, which ended in 2008, and the Census Bureau's American Community Survey 2001-2013. After controlling for age, race, marital status, and number of children at home, they found that males out-earned females by almost $7,700 per year in outpatient settings and close to $3,900 in hospitals. The biggest pay gap was for nurse anesthetists, with men making $17,290 more.

Ulrike Muench, the study's lead author and an assistant professor of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, told NPR the researchers are not entirely sure why there is such pay disparity. Some experts suggest that men are more likely to negotiate for a higher salary, others say that men work more on nights and weekends, when the pay can be better, and still others believe it comes down to gender discrimination. Whatever the reason, it's "dismaying," says Peter McMenamin, health economist at the American Nurses Association. "We would like any differentials in pay to be based on skills and experience and not on gender." Catherine Garcia

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