Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle, Former Teacher, Sues California School District Over Breastfeeding

Tayla Holman - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 4:53 p.m. ET

A former Southern California school teacher is suing the Child Development Center and Carmel United School District for wrongful termination and discrimination after they failed to accommodate her breastfeeding schedule.

Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle filed a lawsuit on October 30 saying that when she returned to work from maternity leave in October 2011, she told her manager that she would need 15 minutes each day between 9 and 11 am to pump her breasts.

Boyle claims the manager, Laura Dunn, told her to train her breasts not to make milk between the hours of 7 am and 1 pm. Boyle said that would “essentially starve [the baby] slightly.”

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Boyle consulted with her doctor and then went to the human resources department, who ultimately argued that it was a misunderstanding and that that arrangements would be made so that she could properly pump her breasts to feed her newborn.

The lawsuit, however, says proper arrangements were never made and that Boyle was forced to pump with little privacy.

After three months, Boyle was given a failing job evaluation and was urged to resign a month later. Her two-year contract was not renewed. She then filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and then went on to file a lawsuit for discrimination and wrongful termination.

Under EEOC laws, it is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, or disability. Under the commission’s pregnancy and workplace laws, nursing mothers have the right to express milk in the workplace under a provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Paul Behan, spokesperson for the Carmel Unified School District, said they do not comment on matters involving litigation.

[Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle not pictured]


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