The commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police says his agency will fight the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Justice Department that accuses the PSP of discriminating against females in its hiring practices.
Commissioner Frank Noonan told Radio PA News the lawsuit is an attempt to force the State Police to lower the standards of their Physical Readiness Test.
Five years ago, the Justice Department began an investigation into the agency’s hiring practices. At issue are the examinations given to applicants for entry-level cadet positions which every applicant must pass to be accepted into the State Police Academy. The same qualification standards are required of both male and female applicants, even in physical tests involving running, jumping, chin-ups and sit-ups.
Federal officials say, between 2003 and 2012, if female applicants had passed the tests at the same rate as men, about 119 additional women would have earned consideration for state trooper positions, and approximately 45 of them would have been hired by the PSP.
Noonan says there is no basis to the lawsuit, and he adds that many of his current female troopers believe they should be held to the same standards as their male counterparts.