In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, the federal government asserts the test is part of a pattern of systematic discrimination against employing women as state troopers in Pennsylvania.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, 94 percent of men were able to pass the physical fitness test versus only 71 percent of women. By investigators' estimates, this cost nearly 120 additional women from qualifying for further consideration and roughly 45 women from being hired as troopers.
"We're looking at 13 push ups. It's not that hard," an anonymous female Pa. state trooper candidate told the Patriot News.
"Nothing that happened that day was unfair to women. The standards are set very low. I feel they should be higher. It's totally insulting that anybody is claiming that it's too hard for women."
State police officials agreed, and had strong words for the Justice Department.
"We will not be bullied into changing our lowering our standards," Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan contested at a press conference Wednesday.
"There's one job. You're getting in a car, on patrol by yourself. That's why we can't have different standards."