Wilkins, who interned at UW in 2015 and worked part-time between 2018 and 2021, said he was “praised for his work quality, overall performance, and disposition,” and expressed the desire to work full-time should the opportunity present itself.
According to Campus Reform, Wilkins discovered in discussions with his supervisor, Tiffany Brooke Bishop, that he needed to find a way to “check a box” if he wanted to be promoted.
“[In a] personal meeting [Bishop said] that [Wilkins] would have to find a way to ‘check a box’—meaning fit into a non- straight-white-male-Christian category—if he wanted to move up at the University of Wyoming,” the lawsuit stated.
Wilkins also has a degenerative eye condition, and stated that he was encouraged to “lean on his… condition,” and once he was “disabled enough,” Bishop could help him get promoted “despite… his status as a white Christian man.”
Bishop never directly stated the approval for the “internal discrimination at the University of Wyoming… she unequivocally confirmed its existence,” the lawsuit stated.
Eventually, Bishop was promoted and her former position was eliminated despite Wilkins’ qualifications to take over the post. Later, another position became available and was filled by a defendant in the lawsuit, Victoria Bryant, without giving Wilkins a chance to apply.
The university called the situation an “emergency promotion” despite Bryant’s new position having having been vacant for 9 months.
The lawsuit alleges that the “emergency promotion” was used as an excuse to keep Wilkins from applying.
After Bryant was promoted, her previous position of assistant director was eliminated and Wilkens’ hours were cut by 90% and he was “withheld the work that filled the remaining 10%.”
The lawsuit also stated that in Wilkins’ time at UW, they hired a “chief diversity officer” who required Wilkins to take diversity training with a heavy focus on Critical Race Theory and to “agree with this ideology before it would consider the training complete.”
Wilkins “strenuously opposed CRT,” and filed an official complaint with the “Equal Employment Oportunity Commission and Wyoming’s fair employment practices agency, the Department of Workforce Services, for discrimination.”
Shortly after the filing of the complaint, Wilkins was fired without cause. In response, he filed another complaint and was granted the right to sue a few months later.
Wilkins is seeking damages of $874,619.50.