Kyte Baby company facing boycott after denying remote work request for mom of premature newborn

Berlin, Germany - January 26: In this photo Illustration hands typing on a computer keyboard on January 26, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

The CEO of Kyte Baby, a company that makes bamboo sleepwear and sleep bags, has released two apology videos after not allowing an employee to work remotely while her premature newborn son was hospitalized. 

Ying Liu took responsibility for denying Marissa Hughes' work-from-home request after adopting a 22-week-old premature baby who was in a neonatal intensive care unit of a hospital nine hours away from her home in Dallas, the New York Post reports. 

"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 posted to TikTok, adding 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 mistreated Hughes. 


"I was insensitive, 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 daily.  

Liu said Hughes has a job with the same title at Kyte Baby if she ever chooses to return. She admitted that comments regarding "saving face" and "saving the company" following the backlash are true after some have chosen to boycott the brand. 

"I will never give Kyte Baby another dime of my money and I would encourage you to do the same," Maura Powers said in a TikTok video that has gotten nearly 2 million views since she posted it Wednesday. "As someone who is adopted and a mom, literally this makes me sick."

Kyte Baby has limited who can comment on its Facebook posts, but that is not stopping some backlash comments from getting through, including one woman who says, "Don’t buy Kyte would probably be the best option here."


Hughes had told her employer of her adoption plans in October, USA Today reports. She got the call that the baby was in an El Paso hospital's NICU in December. 

The seven-month employee of the baby clothing company was only given two weeks of paid leave, per company policy at the time. The new mother was told her son likely would not be released from the hospital until March or April, according to USA Today. Liu said in one of her TikTok videos that she will be reviewing the policy to be more accommodating to employees in the future. 

"Judah has some big days ahead," Hughes posted on her family's GoFundMe page Friday. "We would be so grateful if you would join us in prayer for healing within his body and wisdom for his medical team."

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