New mother accuses university of denying her right to pump breast milk in private

An admissions counselor at Ashford University in San Diego says school administrators denied her a sufficient location to pump her breast milk to feed her new child.

An admissions counselor at Ashford University is alleging that school administrators denied her a sufficient location to pump breast milk for her new child.

According to the woman, Mary Lawmaster, the school’s Human Relation’s office modified a storage room to give her privacy, but did not provide an adequate lock which lead to several traumatic incidents involving exposure.

"I felt horrible,” said Lawmaster, describing the aftermath of one such alleged incident.

“I spent the rest of the day trying not to cry, " she said, according to ABC 10 news. “I felt exposed.”

Despite multiple requests, Lawmaster said the school refused to install a proper lock for over four months until she hired an attorney.

Lawmaster said she was also the subject of frequent sexual harassment from her manager before the baby was born.

"A manager stopped a team meeting so everyone could take a look to see my legs and how they looked in a pair of pants," she said.

According to ABC 10, Lawmaster has filed a complaint with the State Department of Fair Employment and Housing is now also expected to file a civil lawsuit.

Ashford University is one of the country’s largest for-profit universities, with more than 75,000 students, 99 percent of whom matriculate online.

The university’s parent company Bridgepoint Education declined to provide comment for this story.

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