My apologies if this is not the right place to be asking this question.
My pregnant wife is an osteopathic medical student in New Mexico, and she tells me that the school does not always give them a lunch break or bathroom breaks during the day. Today she tells me that they are expected to stay from 8 am to 5 pm without a proper lunch break, and that they are required to take bathroom breaks during lectures because they only get enough time to walk from one class to the next.
So my question is, does anyone know if this is legal? Should the students be allowed at least a proper bathroom break a few times in the day?
I know the academic environment is a little different from the workplace, and that medical school is extremely challenging, but this seems to violate a moral code. I have tried the typical google searches, but nothing of substance presents. Beyond that I don't know where to check without paying for a lawyer or directly asking the school, which could potentially damage her reputation.
If anyone is able to help me out, please provide a source that I can refer to as well (I know this is standard practice). Thank you!
Thank you for the feedback. I forgot to mention that the school is private (but not religious), though next year students can start using federal loans. They haven't treated her any differently than other non-pregnant students from what she tells me, I suppose I mentioned her being pregnant to underline my concern with this problem though.
Really the concern comes down to how someone (or a group of people) can be expected to work/study for 8 hours or more without even 1 proper bathroom break or an opportunity to get a proper meal. They are allowed to snack in class and they have a coffee shop in the building that sells muffins and such, but again they have to use these facilities during lecture times and it's hardly a way to get something substantial.
I don't think this is the day to day routine, but it is still common enough that it concerns me. I have trouble understanding why someone would subject themselves to these conditions or worse for 7 years at least (including minimum residency time), but I do have great respect for the sacrifice and perseverance.