Three former female New Jersey State troopers have joined forces with a female trooper who is still on the force to file a lawsuit against the New Jersey State Police department alleging gender bias so entrenched there that it often keeps women from being promoted to top command posts, Tracey Tully reports for the New York Times. Their suit echoes similar claims of discrimination made in recent years by other women and by gay, Black and Latino officers employed by the State Police.
The State Police refused requests for information about employment data, promotion policies or the specific claims laid out by the women and more than 20 other plaintiffs in recent lawsuits. Between September 2020 and June 2023 New Jersey paid a national law firm $478,128 to look into persistent claims of both gender and racial discrimination in State Police employment practices, but officials say that the assessment is not yet complete. Past attempts by the State Police to increase gender diversity, and the department’s history of racial tension, are well documented. The women’s suit asserts broad, yearslong claims of a hostile work environment and a culture dominated by straight white men with unfettered power to promote their friends. The women’s lawsuit, filed in December 2021 and amended in May, seeks compensation for lost opportunity wages, new policies that set objective standards for promotion and the creation of sanitary locations where breastfeeding troopers can express milk, among other requests.