A former teacher at the Carmelo School has filed a lawsuit against the school and the Carmel Unified School District for discrimination and wrongful termination for the school's failure to accommodate her needs as a new mother.
In the lawsuit filed Oct. 30, Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle of Pacific Grove said her troubles with the Child Development Center began in September 2011. Boyle was due to come back to work on Oct. 3, 2011, and she told manager Laura Dunn she would need about 15 minutes between 9 and 11 a.m. every day to pump her breasts. Dunn reportedly told Boyle to start "training my breast not to make milk between the hours of 7 a.m. and 1 p.m." so that she would not need to pump.
According to Boyle, Dunn practically told her to push the feedings further and further apart. "The effect of this advice was to starve (the baby) slightly," Boyle said.
Boyle consulted with her physicians, who advised her to refer the matter to the human resources department.
Barbara Beck, senior director of human resources, reportedly told Boyle it was all a misunderstanding and arrangements would be made for the mother to accommodate the feeding of her newborn. But the arrangements were never made, so Boyle was forced to pump her breasts with little privacy until her baby was weaned off breast milk, according to the lawsuit.
Three months after coming back to work, Boyle received a job evaluation in which she was told she did not meet nine out of 23 work-related criteria.
A month later she was urged to resign and was told her two-year contract would not be renewed.
On May 5, Boyle filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which issued a "right to sue" letter on Oct. 25.
Boyle is suing for wrongful termination in retaliation, failure to accommodate and intentionally inflicting emotional distress, among other similar charges.
Carmel Unified School District spokesman Paul Behan said the district does not comment on litigation matters.
Neither Boyle nor her attorney Ken Kroopf could be reached for comment.
Claudia Meléndez Salinas can be reached at 753-6755 or email@example.com.