In honor of Equal Pay Day, LUNA Bar announced that it will be paying each of the 23 women named to the USA's 2019 Women's World Cup team the $31,250 difference to make their roster bonus equal to that awarded to their male counterparts.
LUNA said the decision to cover the disparity was a decision to take action now, as opposed to waiting for ongoing litigation to resolve through the legal system. The U.S. women’s national team have been vocal advocates of equal pay but inequities, such as the World Cup roster bonus differences, persist.
"As you can imagine, this got us pretty fired up. We knew we had to do something. And do it now," the food company said in a statement. "And let’s be clear, this isn’t about their bravery and determination – which they rock in abundance. Or even about the money. It’s simply because, well, they deserve it. As do all women – whether they’re crushing it at work or playing soccer on a global stage. And by sharing their experience publicly, the players of the USWNT become advocates, mentors and role models to women and girls around the world."
On March 8, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and 25 other USWNT players sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. They argue that wide disparities in pay between women's national team and men's national team players are not explainable through market forces or the invisible hand of economics. The lawsuit is an escalation of a long-standing issue over pay.
Five players, including former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo, filed a complaint in 2016 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleged wage discrimination by the federation. The lawsuit effectively ended that EEOC complaint.
The organization still faces a separate lawsuit from Solo. In legal filings submitted on Thursday, March 28, U.S. Soccer asked that both of the lawsuits filed be postponed while the cases are potentially consolidated.