A substantial number of Trump appointees are outraged by President Joe Biden's latest executive order cutting down the amount of time designated for parental paid leave, according to Politico.
While the newly elected president is not obligated to honor paid leave for political appointees of their predecessors, many have still spoken to the outlet to express their disdain over Biden's decision. The appointees who have come forward have indicated that their parental paid leave requests abruptly ended due to administrative changes, Politico found.
For example, Vanessa Ambrosini, who was a deputy communications director in the U.S. Commerce Department under the Trump administration, had human resource approval for parental leave from January through March. But once the Biden team came in, she was informed that her paid leave would be ending with the inauguration. This, of course, is what would have happened if she had been an active employee at the time — political appointees know that they don't get to stick around and still get paid when a new party and president take over. But Ambrosini said she didn't see the cut off in benefits coming.
"I got completely screwed," she told Politico. "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."
While the Biden administration was not obligated to honor such requests, parental paid leave experts told Politico that it would not have hurt. Adrienne Schweer weighed in with her perspective. "Paid parental leave is really really important for maternal health, for child wellbeing, for family connectivity, and I can't imagine being in that new parents' shoes and not having the finances," Schweer told the publication.
"Extending it to a couple people for a few months could be a good thing. There is precedent for unique circumstances, and I would love to see a good example set of ensuring that as many people as possible can have paid parental leave."
"We understand that a few Trump appointees, including a handful currently on parental leave, submitted last-minute requests to remain on government payroll," a Biden administration official told Politico. "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."