Attorneys for the University of Wyoming and a former employee who sued the institution told Wyoming’s federal district court Tuesday they expect to reach a settlement agreement in the lawsuit that’s been ongoing since March 2017.
The settlement would bring an end to the dispute between Mandy Davis, former HR manager for the UW Foundation, and her former employer.
UW spokesman Chad Baldwin and Davis’s attorney, Megan Hayes, both declined to comment on the nature of the settlement.
A trial in the matter was scheduled for February.
A hearing in the case before U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson was scheduled for Tuesday, but then was cancelled the same day after the court was informed of the settlement.
Attorneys in the case will now have until Jan. 3 to finalized a settlement and file for dismissal of the lawsuit.
The Davis lawsuit stems from a June 2015 incident, when Davis hired an employee — the most qualified candidate — who had an apparent physical disability. Foundation CEO Ben Blalock apparently took issue with the hiring and Davis was allegedly told to not hire another “retard.”
The lawsuit’s defendants denied that claim.
Davis filed a discrimination complaint, and six months later, Davis was laid off as part of a Foundation reorganization, which followed a university-wide hiring freeze initiated by former UW President Dick McGinity amid Wyoming’s economic downturn.
Davis claimed the reorganization was an illegal subterfuge for her firing.
The lawsuit included UW, the Foundation and Blalock as defendants. Davis’s attorneys originally named Mary Ivanoff as a defendant as well.
A judge dismissed Ivanoff as a defendant in 2017 after determining none of Davis’s allegations had accused Ivanoff of retaliation or being responsible for the plaintiff’s firing.