The women accused U.S. Soccer, their employer, of “institutionalized gender discrimination” including inequity in pay, practice time, practice locations, medical treatment, coaching and travel.
In 2016, five players also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging discrimination in pay, but nothing appeared to change, according to The New York Times.
It is difficult to draw direct comparisons between the men's and women's pay because men are only paid if they make the team and receive larger bonuses. The women have guaranteed salaries but receive smaller bonuses, the Times reported.
The women's soccer team won its third World Cup title in 2015 and in a few months will be defending its world championship. In 2017, the women's team struck a new agreement with the federation for higher, though not necessarily equal, pay and better working conditions.
U.S. Soccer declined to comment, saying it does not comment on pending litigation.
The players filed their suit on International Women's Day.