Pa. State Police Sued Over Fitness Test

Federal lawsuit says physical standards discriminate against women.


A new lawsuit from the federal Justice Department says the fitness test used to determine entry into the Pennsylvania State Police academy illegally discriminates against women.

AP reports:

A test begun in 2003 consisted of a 300-meter run, sit-ups, push-ups, a vertical jump and a 1.5-mile run, the lawsuit said. The test carried cut-off scores for each of the five events, and the state police required that applicants pass each event, it said.

From 2003 to 2008, 94 percent of male applicants passed the fitness test, while 71 percent of female applicants passed. Under a similar test administered in 2009 through 2012, 98 percent of male applicants passed, while 72 percent of female applicants passed, the lawsuit said.

If women had passed the test at the same rate as men, the Justice Department says, at least 45 more women would’ve been hired by the police as entry-level troopers since 2012.

The key to all this, according to the Justice Department, is that the test measures skills “that are not required to perform the job.”

Here is what the feds are seeking: “In the lawsuit, the department seeks a court order that would require the Pennsylvania State Police to stop using the challenged physical fitness tests, develop hiring procedures that comply with Title VII and provide make-whole relief, including offers of hire, retroactive seniority, and back pay to individual women who have been harmed as a result of the defendants’ use of the challenged physical fitness tests.”

The complaint can be found here. The Justice Department press release is here.

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  • Chris Metzger

    I had to check the date to make sure that it was not April Fools Day. Are the feds SERIOUS?!?! What should be the new criteria? How to use feminine hygiene products?

    If this progresses to its absurd end, then the people who are supporting this nonsense – whenever they need a trooper – should ask the dispatcher to send ONLY someone who has NOT physically qualified under the current testing. Give THEM what they are pushing for. Me? If I need urgently extricated from a wrecked car, or I am being beat up by a road-rager, send me the most fit trooper possible.

  • Rachel

    As a female strongly against lowering standards for physical fitness tests for LEOs, firefighters, and military, I have to say this is absolutely disgraceful. These weakling females should have worked hard to do better than the minimum standards, like the 71-72% of females that passed the test.

    Lowering the standards for women sets women back in the long run. It makes the public look upon them as mascots. More importantly, If they can’t handle the physical aspects of the job, they shouldn’t be doing it. Otherwise, they place their lives and the lives of other people at risk.

    DON’T MESS WITH THE FITNESS STANDARDS, DOJ AND POLITICIANS! THEY ARE DIFFICULT FOR A REASON! I swear politicians are the most bonehead morons I have ever encountered.