The members of the United States women’s national soccer team who sued the US Soccer Federation (USSF) in March over allegations of gender discrimination can pursue their claims as a class action, a California court ruled on Friday.
The decision comes two months after the group filed a motion for class certification seeking to include all women called up to the national team over the multi-year period specified in the lawsuit, in addition to those originally named.
“This is a historic step forward in the struggle to achieve equal pay,” Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the players, said in a statement.
“We are so pleased that the Court has recognized USSF’s on-going discrimination against women players – rejecting USSF’s tired arguments that women must work twice as hard and accept lesser working conditions to get paid the same as men.”
US Soccer did not immediately respond when asked in an email by Reuters to comment on the decision made by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
The governing body for soccer in the United States has maintained that the men’s and women’s teams are paid differently due to differences in their collective bargaining agreements.