An FBI intelligence analyst in Chicago who allegedly missed becoming an agent by a single pushup has filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit alleging that the FBI’s fitness test is flawed and biased against men, reports the Chicago Tribune. Jay Bauer, a Northwestern University doctoral graduate, joined the FBI in 2009. He passed a fitness test before entering new-agent training at Quantico, Va., where he scored at or near the top of his class in everything from firearms training to academics, he says.
Trainees must pass another fitness exam at the FBI Academy. Men must complete at least 38 situps in a minute and do 30 untimed pushups. Male candidates also must sprint 300 meters in 52.4 seconds and run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes and 24 seconds. Bauer allegedly fulfilled all the other requirements, but after managing to do only 29 pushups, he was forced to resign from agent training. He took an FBI analyst’s job in Chicago, where he’d already relocated his wife and two young children. His attorneys argued that a female trainee who scored near the bottom of the class in firearms proficiency was given another attempt at the fitness test, but Bauer wasn’t. They also argued that the FBI’s fitness standards — which before 2003 required men to do 25 pushups — are comparatively harder for males.