ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The National Women's Law Center in Washington filed an administrative complaint Wednesday claiming a suburban St. Louis chiropractic college discriminated against a pregnant woman by failing to excuse her pregnancy-related absences or allow missed work to be made up.
The complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education against Logan College of Chiropractic/University Programs in Chesterfield, Mo., on behalf of Brandi Kostal, a pregnant graduate student. It alleged violation of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.
A Logan spokesman declined comment, citing the pending litigation.
Kostal had complications that required a Caesarean section this spring, resulting in missed classes and assignments. The complaint said she told the dean of student services and instructors, but was still penalized with failing grades in two classes.
The student said she was told she could withdraw from doctorate-level classes, be penalized for missed classed, or return to school.
Kostal returned to class 11 days after her delivery -- too early, she said -- to try and avoid being penalized. She said the fast return took a mental and physical toll. She said she also had to stop breastfeeding her daughter 11 days after the birth because of her long class schedule.
Kostal received failing grades in two masters-level courses, lost tuition money and is behind in her work toward masters and doctorate degrees that she had hoped to complete by next spring, according to the complaint.
"My academic future has suddenly been threatened and since I have a family to support, there's a lot at stake," Kostal said in a statement though the National Women's Law Center.