• Kyodo

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The Supreme Court is expected to rule next month that a hospital in Hiroshima Prefecture violated the Equal Employment Opportunity Law by demoting a physical therapist who got pregnant.

In a trial session held Thursday, an attorney for the therapist, who declined to be named, said the hospital’s assigning the woman to a lower post after becoming aware of her pregnancy is an illegal act that discourages female workers.

The therapist was assigned to the post of a deputy manager at the hopsital’s rehabilitation division in 2004, but when she got pregnant in 2008 and asked that her workload be reduced, the hospital reportedly removed her from the post. She sued the operator of the hospital, asking for roughly ¥1.7 million in damages, but both the Hiroshima District and High courts turned it down.

The supreme court is expected to issue the ruling on Oct. 23 to overturn lower courts’ decisions. It will be the first such ruling by the court.

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