A dozen female officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department
are suing the city over a fitness test that doesn't account for age and gender, leading them to flunk and be pulled from their normal uniformed duties.
The allegations, reported by local television stations last night, stem from a policy adopted by Police Chief Pete Carey
in December 2013 that requires various fitness tests with the aim of creating a “culture of fitness”
and reducing work related injuries and increasing officer longevity in the police force, the lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court
, Denver, states.
"The Colorado Springs Police Department knew that the group failing the [fitness] test would be disproportionately
women over forty before it enacted the policies disciplining and potentially terminating the employment of police officers who failed...," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit further alleges that punishment for not passing the test were adopted to target women of a certain age:
The Colorado Springs Police Department adopted these humiliating and punitive
measures with the intent to humiliate female officers because of their sex as
demonstrated by the fact that the Colorado Springs Police Department only adopted
these punitive measures as a policy of the Police Department after it knew that the
majority of those who failed were women over forty.
The plaintiffs also state what they're seeking, as follows:
a. A preliminary and permanent injunction barring enforcement of PAT testing
protocols as described above to deny Plaintiffs continued employment, to impose
disciplinary measures or to reduce their compensation;
b. Pecuniary and compensatory damages including payment for loss of overtime
pay, extra duty pay, regular pay increase, including consequential damages;
c. Damages for humiliation and emotional distress;
d. Pre- and post-judgment at the highest rate;
e. Costs and reasonable attorneys fees; and
f. All other legal or equitable relief to which Plaintiffs are entitled.
We've asked the CSPD for a comment.
One of the plaintiffs is public information officer Lt. Catherine Buckley
City spokeswoman Julie Smith says the city's policy is to not comment on pending litigation.
Read the lawsuit complaint here:
See related PDF