Finding that Senior U.S. District Judge Clarence C. Newcomer employed the wrong test for analyzing a disparate impact claim, a divided panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has revived a class-action sex discrimination suit brought by women who were denied jobs as SEPTA police officers after they failed to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes or less.

U.S. Circuit Judge Carol Los Mansmann said the decision in Lanning v. SEPTA marks the first time that a federal appellate court has addressed the standards established by Congress in the Civil Rights Act of 1991 for analyzing whether a job requirement has an illegal disparate impact.

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