Hope Solo to object to U.S. Soccer equal pay deal

LOS ANGELES — A lawyer for Hope Solo filed a notice with a court indicating the former U.S. goalkeeper wants to object to the settlement of the equal pay lawsuit between her former teammates and the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Solo sued the USSF in August 2018 alleging violations of the federal Equal Pay Act and sex status discrimination.

While Solo’s case has not progressed to trial, players led by Alex Morgan filed suit against the USSF the following year under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Those players and the USSF reached a proposed $24 million settlement this spring, and U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles has scheduled a Dec. 5 hearing for final approval.

As part of the settlement, the USSF signed collective bargaining agreements with the unions for the women’s and men’s national teams calling for equal pay.

A.J. de Bartolomeo, a lawyer for Solo, filed a notice of appearance Tuesday to represent Solo as a class member and objector to the settlement.

“It’s unfair to ask players to accept as ‘fair, adequate and reasonable’ a settlement in which the only thing that is described and explained with certainty is how much the lawyers will be paid,” Solo said in a statement.

Solo cited $7.9 million of the $22 million settlement fund as going to lawyers.

“Without knowing how much each player – including me for our Title VII claims – will be paid, or when we will get paid, it’s impossible for players to determine whether or not the proposed settlement and whatever payment we each receive is fair, adequate or reasonable,” she said.

The USSF had no immediate comment, spokesman Neil Buethe said.

“This historic resolution has been recognized as one of the greatest victories for equal pay,” Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the group of suing players, said in a statement. “We look forward to the court’s final approval hearing.”

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