LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Louisville Metro Department of Corrections is now under federal investigation after employee complaints of age discrimination. The officers involved claim they were denied training opportunities putting them and their job at risk. They claim when they raised their concerns, they were retaliated against.
Working inside the Metro Corrections training facility is considered a coveted position, according to officers.
"I worked hard, I stayed at the jail, I got seniority, I passed everything, I was selected for the position. I was the senior sergeant in the entire department," former LMDC Sergeant Mike Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith was Senior Sergeant until last year when he and LMDC Captain Scott Wright claim they were no longer being sent to training academies, while younger officers were.
They said they asked for a meeting with jail leaders to raise concern.
"Shortly after that meeting, we got moved out of training. I guess they wanted to get rid of their problem," Wright said.
The officers said that decision to move them came in the form of the letters.
Wright said, "We were blindsided, didn't know it was coming whatsoever."
Wright's note states he had "not satisfactorily performed his job assignment". Goldsmith's said he "Knowingly allowed others to deface his portrait"- depicting him as Hitler. The letters state they were being "involuntarily transferred" back to the main jail complex.
Goldsmith said, "That’s not what you're here for, that's not your coveted job. They may give you the same rank, the same pay, but it’s not your job. It's hurtful."
Goldsmith said the notice of the move was the final straw and after more than 20 years with the agency, he decided to retire.
"They told me I was being involuntarily moved back to the jail and I said I'm done. You've won. You've effectively pushed me out the door," he said.
Wright took the transfer but said it hasn't been easy. He said, "It’s been very stressful for me, very much a hardship on my family, it was embarrassing. I really think he intended to embarrass us."
The men filed a complaint with the mayor's office and with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It states they were denied opportunities because of their age.
The next step, they said, will be a lawsuit against jail director Mark Bolton.
"I just want my day in court, I just want my day for him to explain why he did what he did," Goldsmith said.
The men said they will file a civil lawsuit against jail director Mark Bolton when the federal investigation is complete.
Jail leaders did not respond to WHAS11's attempts for comment.