Nicole Zerunyan


Gender-based wage discrimination in professional sports is wide-spread. Female athletes, competing individually or as part of a team, are consistently paid substantially less than their male counterparts. To combat such discrimination and eliminate the gender pay gap, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act (“Act”) in 1963. While born of good intentions, the Act falls drastically short of its intended goal. Its restrictive language—specifically, its “same establishment” requirement—excludes separately owned teams. As most men’s and women’s professional sports teams are separately owned, their players are effectively barred from bringing wage-discrimination claims. This Note proposes two ways of addressing that issue: (1) eliminating the “same establishment” requirement or (2) adding a sports-specific provision treating separately owned teams as the same. After more than fifty years, it is time to finally close the pay gap. Time’s up!