Baby Clothing CEO Refuses New Mom Opportunity To Work Remotely While Baby in NICU

Gorodenkoff /
Gorodenkoff /

Kyte Baby CEO and founder Ying Liu is the latest in a laundry list of niche companies, only to turn its back on an employee who is a part of that niche.

In late December, Marissa Hughes and her husband Rawley suddenly found out the baby they were selected to adopt was being born early. At just 22 weeks, the youngster was not fit to be out in the world and would need significant time in the NICU. To help care for the baby, Marissa asked her employer, Kyte Baby, to be allowed to work from home. Back in October, she had let the company know of their plans to adopt, so she assumed they would be accommodating, especially given the situation.

After allowing her the normal two weeks of paid maternity leave, they required a contract that she would be back in the office and working for at least six full months after the time away. This was something they claimed she could not do, as the role required her to be on-site and not remote, so she was terminated.

When news of this broke, Liu issued a TikTok video apologizing for the situation, speaking to Hughes directly. The video went over like a lead balloon. People could pick up on Liu’s fake feelings and canned statements. Just a few hours later, Liu posted another video. This time unpolished and direct. She claimed she was going “off script and tell you exactly what happened.”

“I was the one who made that decision to veto her request to go remote. This was a terrible decision. I was insensitive and selfish … I cannot image the stress that she had to go through, not having the option to go back to work and having to deal with a newborn in the NICU. Thinking back, it was a terrible mistake.”

A mistake is an understatement. As the parent of a daughter who suffered from chronic eczema, Liu had to go through tons of trial and error to discover that bamboo clothing helped. This is what led her to start Kyte Baby. She, of all people, should know that when your child is having massive problems, you need to be there, and anything else comes second at best.