- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A private Christian university in Eugene is being sued by a former assistant professor who says she was fired when she became pregnant.

The lawsuit seeks $650,000 in various damages from Northwest Christian University, saying Coty Richardson told the school about her pregnancy in May and was given the options of either breaking up with her boyfriend of 12 years or marrying him, the Register-Guard reported (https://bit.ly/1UlqlDV).

The lawsuit says Richardson was informed she was fired in a July 30 letter from vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty Dennis Lindsay. He wrote that “sexual relations outside of marriage” are “contrary to the university’s core values.”

Lindsay has not responded to a request for comment from the Associated Press.

Richardson argues in the suit filed Tuesday that the school was discriminating against “her religious views that it is entirely appropriate for her, as a Christian, to wait until she and her partner are financially, practically and emotionally ready to get married.”

In addition to religious discrimination, Richardson’s lawsuit says her gender played a role in her firing since unmarried male employees were not given similar ultimatums when they became expectant fathers.

The 35-year-old Springfield resident had worked in the university’s exercise science program since 2011. She’s expecting her third child this November, and her boyfriend lives in Washington state.


Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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