The CEO of Kyte Baby Company has released two apology videos after not allowing an employee to work remotely while her premature newborn son was hospitalized. Kyte Baby is a kids' wear company that makes bamboo sleepwear and sleep bags.
Ying Liu, who is the CEO of Kyte Baby, took responsibility for denying Marissa Hughes' work-from-home request after adopting a 22-week-old premature baby. The baby was in a neonatal intensive care unit of a hospital nine hours away from her home in Dallas, as per the New York Post report.
Liu posted to TikTok that "I wanted 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 adoption and starting a family." Liu also added that she has been trying to reach the employee directly to apologize.
Liu said her initial apology video was considered "scripted," so she posted a follow-up "off script" video, detailing how she believes the company ill-treated Hughes.
"I was insensitive and selfish and was only focused on the fact that her job had always been done onsite," Liu said. The CEO said Hughes was one of the few employees she would see in the office on a daily basis.
Liu added that Hughes has a job with the same title at Kyte Baby if she ever chooses to return. She accepted that comments regarding "saving face" and "saving the company" following the backlash are true after some have chosen to boycott the brand.
In late December, Marissa Hughes and her husband adopted a baby boy. The baby was born after only 22 weeks of gestation and was barely over a pound. Hence, the baby had various health concerns and issues. Hughes posted on her GoFundMe page for crowdsourced funds to meet the steep NICU costs as well as various adoption and legal fees.
But when Hughes requested to work remotely while staying with her baby at the NICU, the company fired her, according to a TikTok video posted Wednesday by Hughes’ sister.
As per the company policy at that time, the seven-month employee of the baby clothing company was only given two weeks of paid leave. The new mom was told her son likely would not be released from the hospital until March or April. Liu said in one of her TikTok videos that she will be reviewing the policy to be more accommodating to employees in the future.
(Input from various sources)