American women’s soccer players want to delay a trial until after an appellate court reviews last week’s decision to throw out their claim of unequal pay while allowing allegations of discriminatory work conditions to move forward.
Lawyers for the women filed a motion Friday night asking U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles to enter a final judgment on his decision to dismiss their pay claim, which would allow them to take the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Players asked Klausner to stay the trial, currently set to start June 16. The U.S. Soccer Federation agreed not to oppose the requests but did not agree with some of the characterizations made by the players’ lawyers.
Soccer Federation agreed not to oppose the requests but did not agree with some of the characterizations made by the players’ lawyers.
If Klausner signs the order, a trial probably would be delayed until 2021 at the earliest. That would allow more time for settlement negotiations under new USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone — a former national team player — and for talks on a labor deal to replace the collective bargaining agreement that expires on Dec. 31, 2021.
“Equal pay means paying women players the same rate for winning a game as men get paid. 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,” Molly Levinson, spokeswomen for the federation’s refusal to put equal pay on the table is not a legitimate reason for continuing to discriminate against them.”
If Klausner enters a final judgment on the thrown-out claims, his ruling would be reviewed by a three-judge panel. The 9th Circuit says civil cases take about 12-to-20 months from the filing of the notice of appeal until oral argument, and another 3-to-12 months in most cases between oral argument and a decision.
“Allowing an appeal to proceed to the 9th Circuit now would conserve resources for both the parties and the court and could accelerate the ultimate resolution of this dispute,” the players’ lawyers wrote in their filing. “Allowing an appeal now would also avoid the risk of needing to conduct a second trial involving the same trial participants, in the event that the dismissal is reversed.”