Kyte Baby Employee Denied Remote Work Request While Infant Son Is in NICU
A baby clothing brand is being slammed on TikTok after an employee was denied her request to work remotely while her infant son was being treated in the NICU.
Kyte Baby employee Marissa Hughes went viral on TikTok after her sister shared Marissa's experience in a live stream.
Marissa and her husband Rawley tried for three years to conceive a child. They sadly lost three pregnancies before becoming foster parents. Eventually, they decided to adopt, and in December, became parents to Judah, who was born at 22 weeks and weighed a little more than a pound.
Judah has since been receiving treatment in the NICU, and doctors have estimated the baby will need to receive critical care through March.
However, when Marissa contacted her employer to request working remotely until her baby is released from the NICU, she was told that if she did not return to work after the standard two weeks leave, she would be terminated.
As of publishing, a GoFundMe page run by Marissa has reached over $80,000 for lost wages while she and her husband support their newborn.
The description for the online fundraiser reveals the new parents hope to cover agency and legal fees in addition to court fees, birth mother expenses and counseling.
What Is Kyte Baby?
Kyte Baby is a baby clothing brand known for its bamboo items.
According to the company's official website, the idea for a bamboo-based baby brand came when the CEO's youngest daughter was dealing with chronic eczema and would pull off her PJs at night to alleviate the symptoms.Bamboo fabrics are cooler than typical cotton and most other fabrics.
The company was created by Ying Liu, who is a mother of five.
Kyte Baby Drama Explained:
After Marissa's sister shared her story online, the CEO of Kyte Baby, Ying Liu, released a series of ill-received apology videos which only created more backlash toward the company's handling of Marissa's remote work request.
"I want to hop on here to sincerely apologize to Marissa for how her parental leave was communicated and handled in the midst of her incredible journey of adopting and starting a family," the CEO stated.
Ying claimed that the company "treats biological and non-biological parents equally," saying, "Through my personal and professional experiences, I have the utmost respect for babies, families, and the adoption community.”
She also claimed they would find a position for Marissa when she is able to return to the office.
Shortly after, Ying uploaded a second apology video after she received backlash for reading from a prepared statement.
"Sincerely, what went wrong is how we treated Marissa and I'm the one who made the decision to veto her request to go remote as she stays in the NICU to take care of her adopted baby. When I think back, that was a terrible decision," she shared.
Days after Ying's apology video went viral, Marissa posted a public video to her Facebook account thanking everyone for their support and prayers for Judah.
She revealed she did watch the apology videos but will not be returning to the company.