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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs equal pay legislation into law at USWNT World Cup victory parade

Equal pay was a rallying cry as the U.S. Women National Team’s (USWNT) was honored with ticker-tape parade through the streets of New York City on Wednesday. Team USA was celebrating its second consecutive World Cup victory — and its triumphant performance has called fresh attention to the demand for equal pay. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was in the parade with the all-stars, actually did something about pay equality during the festivities. 

Cuomo signed legislation that expands the state’s equal pay laws to “prohibit unequal pay on the basis of a protected class for all substantially similar work.” The law will also forbid employers from asking prospective employees about their salary history, a statement on the governor’s website explains.

Cuomo announced the news on Twitter Wednesday morning, sharing a photo of himself with the newly-singed legislation at the USWNT World Cup celebration in lower Manhattan.

“I just signed new pay equity legislation at the #USWNTParade,” the tweet reads. “The women’s soccer team plays the same game that the men’s soccer players play — only better. If anything, the men should get paid less. Thank you @USWNT for helping lead this movement for change!”

All 28 members of the team filed a federal gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation in March, citing the fact that they are paid less than their male counterparts despite having the same job responsibilities,. After making it to the finals and then winning their fourth World Cup, players and fans reignited the fight for equal pay.

Fans who attended the World Cup finals in Lyon, France started chanting “Equal pay!” after Team USA won the championship game. The same chant could be heard during the ticker-tape parade in New York City on Wednesday. New York City’s first lady Chirlane McCray encouraged the crowd to chant, “USA, equal pay!” 

“We cheered for them on the field, and we are with them, too for equality off the field,” McCray said during her speech at the City Hall ceremony after the parade. U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro also mentioned the women’s equal pay fight during his speech.

“We believe at U.S. Soccer that all female athletes deserve fair and equitable pay… Because as this team has taught us, being the greatest isn’t just about how you play on the field. It’s about what you stand for off the field,” Cordeiro said.

Star player Megan Rapinoe also spoke at the event and incorporated equal pay into her message. “I think he’s with us. I think he’s on the right side of things,” Rapinoe said after Cordeiro received some boos during his speech. “We look forward holding those feet to the fire.”

“I couldn’t be more proud”: Megan Rapinoe speaks as New York City honors Women’s World Cup champions

During the parade-side bill signing, Cuomo said “there is no rationale why women should not get paid what men get paid.”

“These are women’s soccer players, they play the same game as the men’s soccer players, and they play it better — so if there is any economic rationale, the men should get paid less than the women,” Cuomo said. “New York will continue to lead the way forward and stand in solidarity with women and girls in every corner of this state. By signing this legislation, we are not only doing the right thing, we are also doing the moral thing and equal pay for equal work is now the law in the State of New York.”

FBL-WC-2019-USA-WOMEN-PARADE
Amid chants of “equal pay,” “USA” and streams of confetti, the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer team was feted by tens of thousands of adoring fans with a ticker-tape parade in New York on Wednesday.

Johannes Eisele / AFP/Getty Images





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