Can an employer have different physical fitness standards for men and women without running afoul of Title VII? Yes, according to the Fourth Circuit that ruled that the FBI could reject a male agent candidate who failed his physical fitness test by not being able to do one additional push-up. Plaintiff Bauer sued the Department of Justice claiming that he had been discriminated against on the basis of his sex because the FBI applied a higher physical fitness requirement to him than to female candidates. The FBI claimed that it had established separate testing standards for men and women based on their innate physiological differences. Male candidates were required to do 30 push-ups, while women wanting to be special agents were required to do only 14. Plaintiff Bauer took the physical fitness test five different times, but failed each time by not being able to meet the push-up number.
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