Kentucky State Police captain files lawsuit against agency for discrimination

The lawsuit cites three examples of open positions that Sandlin applied for but was passed over in favor of men

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky (WTVQ)- A Kentucky State Police captain is suing her employer for what she calls discrimination based on her sex.

The lawsuit was filed in August 2022 in Franklin County. Louisville attorney Thomas Clay represents Captain Jennifer Sandlin, who serves as the KSP’s highest ranking woman as the commander of Post 13 in Hazard.

Clay cites three examples of open positions in a lawsuit– two from 2018 and one from last year — in which he says Sandlin applied for but was passed over in favor of men.

“When you look at her qualifications compared to the individuals who were selected for those positions, it certainly creates and issue that we believe should be resolved in court,” Clay tells ABC 36.

The 42-year old mother of two is suing for damages of lost wages, as well as punitive damages.

“She’s a woman and she’s been treated in a despaired manner compared with other male troopers who are employed by KSP,” says Clay.

Clay says they’re finally moving forward with the case after arguing with KSP. Since the lawsuit was filed, more people have come forward with information which they believe shows proof of wrongful treatment of women within the agency.

“We’ve got numerous examples who feel as if they’ve been treated in the same manner that Captain Sandlin has and denying opportunities, advancement and assignments, and things of that nature based upon their sex,” says Clay.

Meanwhile, Clay says he hopes the law suit helps change the culture at the agency going forward.

“Certainly, the culture at KSP needs to be changed. Because this is not something that has happened last week or last month. Its been ongoing for years. And maybe at some point when this case becomes more apparent, somebody is going to sit up and take notice and say ‘hey, we need to make some changes around here,” says Clay.

ABC 36 reached out to KSP for comment. It released a statement saying, ““KSP does not discriminate based on gender, age, race, sex or religion and follows the promotion guidelines set by the agency’s policies and procedures. Due to pending litigation, KSP cannot comment further.”

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