Obama Administration Suing Pa. State Police Over Physical Fitness Tests

Saying that the physical fitness tests that the Pennsylvania state police uses to identify entry-level candidates are not job-related, the Department of Justice is suing the agency for sex discrimination since more men pass the tests than women.

“Through the use of these physical fitness tests, Defendants have engaged in a pattern or practice of employment discrimination against women in [Pennsylvania State Police’s] selection process for entry-level trooper positions in violation of Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964],” reads the DOJ’s lawsuit.

At issue are the state agency’s 2003 and 2009 physical fitness tests that are one of eight criteria used to choose entry-level state troopers.

The 2003 test had five events — a 300-meter run, sit-ups, push-ups, a vertical jump, and a one-and-a-half mile run. To become an entry-level cadet, applicants had to pass each event.

Between 2003 and 2008, 94 percent of male test-takers and 71 percent of female test-takers passed all five events.