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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 Middle District of Pennsylvania against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Police. The plaintiff alleged that ... 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 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 seek 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. Between 2003 and 2012, Female applicants passed the test at a rate that was 80% of male applicants. This is a statistically significant difference in passage rates and because applicants are required to pass the physical fitness tests in order to be considered for these positions, the tests have 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.

Beginning in May 2014, the parties engaged in discovery. On August 19, 2015, both the plaintiff and defendant filed motions for summary judgment. The court granted the plaintiff's motion to 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. 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 and set a trial date.

The parties in currently engaging in pre-trial motion practice as trial is scheduled to begin in April 2018. This case is ongoing.

Benjamin St. Pierre - 10/23/2014
Sean Mulloy - 03/21/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
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 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
Filing Year 2014
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:14-cv-01474-SHR (M.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0245-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/30/2018
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]
Judges Rambo, Sylvia H. (M.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0245-0002 | EE-PA-0245-0003 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blake, Trevor St. George (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0245-0001 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Kennebrew, Delora L. (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0245-0001 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Phoenix, Candyce Danielle (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0245-9000
Ruckert, Karen P. (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0245-9000
Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0245-0001
Schellenberg, Kali J (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0245-9000
Schwabauer, Barbara A. (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0245-9000
Wong, Carol A (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0245-0001 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Woodard, Karen D. (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0245-0001 | EE-PA-0245-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Solomon, Stephanie L (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0245-9000
Sorek, Patrick (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0245-9000
White, David B (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0245-9000

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