A federal judge has dismissed nearly all claims in a lawsuit against the University of Wyoming, in which a former employee had accused the university of firing him and blocked promotions for being a straight, white, Christian male.
U.S. Senior District Judge for Wyoming Nancy Freudenthal wrote in a dismissal order Monday that Jeffrey Lynn Wilkins, a former UW employee, did not offer enough facts to prove in court that the university fired him for his social and biological status.
Wilkins sued the college in September, saying the university cut his hours, denied him promotions and ultimately fired him because he did not “check a box” of being a social minority and because he spoke out against a diversity training steeped in critical race theory.
Not A Total Dismissal
Freudenthal dismissed most of Wilkins’ claims, but she allowed part of the case to remain in court for future litigation: His claims that the university retaliated against him after he filed a discrimination complaint against it.
Federal and state law forbid retaliatory discharge of employees, the order notes.
‘Check A Box’
Wilkins’ lawsuit claimed that a female supervisor at the university told him she wanted to help him get a promotion, but he needed to “check a box.”
Wilkins took this to mean he needed to rely on his degenerative eye condition disability or fit into a non-white-straight-Christian-male category, court documents state.
Later, a second female supervisor treated him with animosity, documents state. She cut his hours by more than 90% and withheld work filling the other 10%.
The day after that supervisor was promoted to become director of his department, the university fired Wilkins “with no explanation,” according to court documents.
Wilkins filed a charge of discrimination on July 8, 2021, saying he was denied a promotion and his hours were cut because of his sex, sexual orientation, race and religion. Four months later he filed a second discrimination allegation, saying the university was retaliating against him for his first charge.