A lawsuit has been filed against a Christian university in Oregon by an assistant professor who claims she was dismissed from the school for becoming pregnant out of wedlock.
Coty Richardson, 35, alleges that when administrators at the Northwest Christian University (NCU) in Eugene found out about her pregnancy, they presented her with an ultimatum: To remain employed, she would need to either split up her boyfriend of 12 years and dub the pregnancy a mistake, or get married, according to The Register-Guard.
Richardson refused to answer to the university and demanded that the school keep away from her personal matters. For this, she was fired.
In the lawsuit filed in Lane County Circuit Court, Richardson says that Dr. Dennis Lindsay, the dean of faculty, was not well-receptive to the news of her pregnancy.
"NCU'S response was swift, blunt, and unequivocal," reads part of the complaint, according to Oregon Live. "…According to (Lindsay), the issue was that she was going to be 'showing' soon and that many of the students and staff would star to 'ask questions.' Dr. Lindsay then demanded that she explain the status of her relationship with her partner."
Richardson was fired on July 22. Later, she received a letter from Lindsay that said in part, "sexual relations outside or marriage is contrary to the university's core values," and that Richardson's pregnancy "would result in a very demonstrative violation of that core value."
The lawsuit accuses NCU of violating Richardson's civil rights and breaking Oregon law in firing her. It seeks up to $650,000 in damages.
Richardson, a single mother of two, began working for NCU in August 2011, where she was an assistant professor of Exercise Science.
She is expecting her first child with her current partner in November.
Photo Credit: Northwest Christian University