Lawsuit alleges pregnant Oregon woman fired for taking too many restroom breaks

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An Oregon woman is suing her former high-tech employer for more than $400,000, contending she was fired while pregnant with her second child after being told she took too many restroom breaks.

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The suit filed in Circuit Court says Dawn Steckmann and other employees had never been told they needed to clock out before using the restroom at Maxim Integrated Products, The Oregonian (http://is.gd/8ILzUl) reported.

The company produces wafers for wireless devices in the Portland suburb of Beaverton

Maxim lawyer Melissa Healy declined comment, citing the pending litigation.

The lawsuit alleges pregnancy and gender discrimination.

It says that when Steckmann was pregnant with her first child in 2011, she asked a supervisor whether she should go off the clock because she was urinating more frequently and was told that wasn't necessary.

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During her second pregnancy in 2013, restroom visits were more frequent because of a bladder condition caused by her first pregnancy, and "she would not even have had time to clock out to use the restroom without an accident," the suit says.

In June 2013, Steckmann was called to a meeting with her supervisor and a human resources manager who asked why she was not clocking out for restroom breaks. Her supervisor claimed he had told Steckmann she needed to clock out. The human resources manager told Steckmann that for all he knew, she could be watching movies in the bathroom, according to the lawsuit.

Steckmann is seeking compensation for lost wages and benefits, damage to her reputation and emotional distress. She also asks to be reinstated in her job as a fabrication technician making $18.76 per an hour.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com