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Case Name United States v. Pennsylvania EE-PA-0245
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-01474-SHR ( M.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On July 29, 2014, the United States Department of Justice, on behalf of women seeking entry-level Pennsylvania state trooper positions, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Police ... read more >
On July 29, 2014, the United States Department of Justice, on behalf of women seeking entry-level Pennsylvania state trooper positions, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Police. The plaintiff alleged that since 2003, the State Police's practice of requiring applicants to pass a physical-fitness test in order to be considered for an entry-level trooper positions has had a disparate impact on the hiring of women, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They sought injunctive relief to stop the defendant's discriminatory hiring practices.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that since 2003 the Pennsylvania State Police have used two similar physical fitness tests as part of the application to become a state trooper that are not necessary for the performance of the job. They claimed that between 2003 and 2012, female applicants passed the test at 80% of the rate that male applicants passed, a statistically significant difference, and thus the tests had a disparate impact on the hiring of women.

On November 10, 2014, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction. The court (Judge Sylvia Rambo) denied the motion finding that the court had jurisdiction and that the United States had sufficiently stated a claim. 110 F.Supp.3d 544.

Beginning in May 2014, the parties engaged in discovery. On August 19, 2016, both the plaintiff and defendant filed motions for partial summary judgment. The court granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgement, finding that the United States had satisfied its burden in proving a prima facie case of disparate impact discrimination and that there was no genuine dispute of a material fact for that analysis. 2017 WL 4354917. Finding that there was still a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the defendant's actions were defensible under a business necessity defense, the court denied the defendant's motion.

The parties engaged in several discovery disputes between 2016 and 2018. On April 4, 2018, the parties jointly submitted a motion to stay the litigation for 90 days while the parties engaged in voluntary mediation before a federal magistrate judge. It does not appear that the mediation was successful. As of April 6, 2020, the case is ongoing.

Benjamin St. Pierre - 10/23/2014
Sean Mulloy - 03/21/2018
Hope Brinn - 04/06/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Testing
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State Police
Plaintiff Description The United States on behalf of women seeking entry-level Pennsylvania state trooper positions
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 07/29/2014
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
1:14-cv-01474-SHR (M.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0245-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
EE-PA-0245-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [ECF# 45] (110 F.Supp.3d 544) (M.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0245-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/21/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [ECF# 129] (2017 WL 4354917) (M.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0245-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Rambo, Sylvia H. (M.D. Pa.) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-0002 | EE-PA-0245-0003 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blake, Trevor St. George (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-0001 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Galbreath, Robert Lee (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
Kennebrew, Delora L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-0001 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Kisch, Lori B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
Phoenix, Candyce Danielle (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
Ruckert, Karen P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
Sacks, Sonya Lagene (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-0001
Schellenberg, Kali J (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
Schwabauer, Barbara A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
Wong, Carol A (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-0001 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Woodard, Karen D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-0001 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Rebelo, Mary-Jo (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
Solomon, Stephanie L (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
Sorek, Patrick (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000
White, David B (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0245-9000

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