A Mentor woman has filed a law suit in Lake County Court of Common Pleas, claiming that the Bryant & Stratton College campus in Eastlake discriminated against her and denied her the right to breast feed her baby.
This is what occurred, according to Erin Corral's lawsuit:
Corral joined the college's RN nursing program in May of 2010. In the following September, she gave birth to a daughter.
Consequently, Corral sometimes needed to pump her breast milk while at the campus. In particular, she would sometimes pump in her car during a 15-minute break in between two sections of her Nursing Fundamentals class, according to the lawsuit.
Occasionally, Corral would be five to ten minutes late for the second session of Nursing Fundamentals. Corral said she explained the reason she was late to her instructor, Davida Smith.
However, on Oct. 11, 2010, Corral came back about five minutes late from break after pumping and she found the door to her classroom locked. The same thing occurred on Oct. 25, according to the lawsuit. All totalled, Corral was locked out about 10 times during the semester
When Corral asked Smith why she was locked out, Smith cited the course syllabus's lockout policy, which said the classroom door would be locked within 15 minutes after the start of each class.
Corral told Smith the 15-minute break was not enough time for her to pump her breast milk. According to Corral's lawsuit, Smith replied, "That's too bad."
Thereafter, Corral received permission to pump in a conference room in the building. However, she said the conference room did not provide privacy and she still struggled to get back to class on time, according to the lawsuit.
When she did not get back to class on time, she would sometimes find herself locked out.
Additionally, Corral went to her doctor who said she should be taking about 30 minutes to pump her milk out. The doctor also said not doing so caused Corral's milk supply to not increast to meet her daughter's needs, the lawsuit said.
Corral's doctor wrote a letter to Smith, informing her of Corral's predicament. However, Smith refused to entertain Corral and her doctor's requests for accommodation, according to the lawsuit.
In turn, Corral complained to Timothy Farrell, the Eastlake campus's dean of instruction. However, nothing changed and Corral felt the campus was ignoring her complaints.
So in November of that year, Corral did an interview in which she shared her complaints with 19 Action News. After that, Ted Hansen, the director of the Eastlake campus, sent a letter to Corral demainding that she write a retraction of her statements.
Corral stopped attending classes at the Eastlake campus that month.
She said that administrators initially gave her permission to finish the course on her own, outside of the classroom setting, but later retracted their decision, according to the lawsuit.
Soon thereafter, Bryant & Stratton dismissed her from the RN program.
In the lawsuit, Corral said she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex and then the college retaliated against her when she initially made these claims. Corral said the school also denied her the right to breast feed.
Corral said the school's actions have caused her emotional distress.
In her lawsuit, Corral is asking for more than $25,000.
The college has responded to Corral's lawsuit in a statement. They said:
"Ms. Corral has been alleging discrimination by Bryant & Stratton College for two years. Her allegations have been investigated by the Ohio State Board of Nursing and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and both organizations found no wrong doing by Bryant and Stratton College.
"Due to concerns for Ms. Corral’s privacy rights under FERPA and Bryant & Stratton College’s practice of not commenting on ongoing litigation, Bryant & Stratton College cannot offer further comment on this matter."