Four current and former Massachusetts State Police troopers are suing the agency, alleging it routinely passed over female and minority troopers for advancement.
The Boston Globe reports the suit filed in August and updated in November names three women and a black man as plaintiffs.
The suit alleges many high-ranking and better-paying jobs aren't posted publicly, which agency policy requires, and those that are posted are quickly filled by white, male candidates with less impressive qualifications than women and minority candidates.
It claims women and minorities who were promoted were transferred "hours away from their homes.''
State police spokesman David Procopio says the department "has promoted, and continually seeks to promote qualified women and officers of color.''
He says the department will present a "vigorous'' response to the suit.