President Biden has pushed for parental leave concerning pregnancy for many years. So, it came as a surprise when Biden’s administration told Trump aides ‘no’ when they requested maternity leave. It turns out they lost that benefit when Biden took office and some are questioning the legality of it. The request for leave was originally approved by the Trump administration and then subsequently denied by Biden’s.
One of the aides affected by this is named Vanessa Ambrosini. She is the former deputy communications director at the Commerce Department. As her pregnancy progressed, she had everything in order and had been approved by the Commerce Department’s human resources office for three months of maternal leave. She gave birth a week before Christmas. She was shocked when she found out that the benefit had been rescinded when Biden took office.
“I got completely screwed,” she stated. “There were no caveats in that language saying anything about if the administration turns, you get nothing and of course, that happened and so I got nothing.” Ambrosini was not alone either. It is typical for an incoming administration to honor those benefits but the Biden transition did not do so.
The Biden administration is refusing to address the issue. Instead, yet another anonymous source stated to Politico that political appointees “do not enjoy the promise of federal employment past the end of the administration in which they choose to serve.” This same source said it was the Trump administration’s fault for delaying the transition and that is why some of his aides are now suffering for it.
“We understand that a few Trump appointees, including a handful currently on parental leave, submitted last-minute requests to remain on the government payroll,” the source said. “Because these requests were received so close to Inauguration Day… there was no way to implement an exception to the rule in a way that is fair to all outgoing appointees, including many who resigned as expected without making requests for extraordinary benefits.”
He also stated that “appointees have been advised that they have options including COBRA and the Affordable Care Act.”
In another instance, a couple who worked under Trump’s Department of Homeland Security revealed they were told just two weeks after their baby arrived prematurely on December 18 that there had been a mistake and that their leave would not be honored. They said they appealed directly to the Biden administration but were told no.
“It’s one thing if you have a household if you have one family member who works for the government,” the father said. “But we were both employed by the government so we’re losing both of our opportunities for health care and both our incomes, so it’s pretty scary to have a premature baby at home and not knowing if you’re going to have an income or health insurance.”
The denial of maternity leave is not seen as a good look for the incoming administration and does not portend the unity promoted by President Biden. Instead, moves like this one appear to many conservatives to be petty and revengeful in nature.
Kash Patel, who is the former Chief of Staff to the Acting U.S. Defence Secretary in the Trump administration, vented on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo that Biden’s push for unity is “garbage.” He claims his employees at the Pentagon on parental leave were summarily fired as the new administration came in.
Biden’s coronavirus relief proposal includes paid leave and childcare subsidies. But that courtesy evidently won’t be applied to outgoing Trump aides.
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