Kyte Baby Controversy: North Texas company faces backlash for denying remote work for mom of premature newborn

The CEO of North Texas-based baby clothing company has released two apology videos after not allowing an employee to work remotely while her premature newborn son was in the hospital.

Kyte Baby, which is based in Euless, about 20 miles west of Dallas, denied a work-from-home request from Marissa Hughes after she adopted a 22-week-old premature baby in December.

Hughes made the request because the baby was in the NICU of a hospital more than nine hours away in El Paso.

CEO Ying Liu took responsibility for the decision in the apology videos posted on Kyte Baby's TikTok account.

"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 faced criticism after the first video because it appeared too "scripted," according to some users.

"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 in the office daily, one of only a few employees to do so.

Liu did say that if Hughes chooses to return, she will still have a job and the same title.

The CEO admitted that comments regarding "saving face" and "saving the company" following the backlash are true after some promised to boycott the brand. 

The story spread online thanks to a TikTok Live video shared by Hughes' sister. She said that Kyte only offered two weeks of paid leave because she had only worked for the baby clothing company for seven months.

In order to use the 2 weeks of vacation, she was allegedly asked to sign an agreement promising to return to the company for 6 months.

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Liu said in one of her TikTok videos that the company will be taking a look at the policy to be more accommodating to employees in the future. 

A GoFundMe page for Hughes said the baby is likely to need to remain in the hospital until March.