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Even women in sports face workplace discrimination

Long Beach soccer fans may know that the U.S. women's soccer team recently competed in the World Cup, but defending their title as champions could prove easier than the battle they face in the courts. Several of the women allege in a lawsuit that they face workplace discrimination because they do not receive the same compensation as their male counterparts. Court documents assert violations of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to the women, the U.S. Soccer Federation does not pay them what they pay members of the men's soccer team, but this is not the only allegation of gender inequality cited. The 28 women say they do not receive the same training, promotion of their games, travel conditions as the men's team does. They say they work just as hard, and seem to outperform, the men's team, so they should receive at least the same compensation.

The U.S. Soccer Federation claims do not seem to deny that the women are paid less than the man, but say it is due to contractual differences and the generation of revenue. It claims the pay structure for both teams differs greatly since the men are paid only when they play, but the women receive salaries. The Federation believes these differences nullify the women's claims.

Ultimately, the courts may end up deciding which side is right. This case illustrates that women continue to struggle when it comes to equal pay. Many Long Beach workers may not realize this sort of workplace discrimination still exists until they experience it, at which point, they could benefit from gaining an understanding of their rights and legal options to rectify the situation.

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