Several former Trump aides say they were left blindsided when the Biden administration refused to extend the parental leave benefits they were promised near the end of former President Donald Trump’s term, Politico reports. “I got completely screwed,” said Vanessa Ambrosini, the former deputy communications director at the Commerce Department. “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,” she was quoted as saying. She said she’d been approved by her department’s HR office to take parental leave from early January to late March but then learned right before her due date that her benefits would end on Jan. 20.
Several other Trump officials who welcomed new babies to their families in recent weeks complained of similar situations, with benefits approved under Trump only to be nixed come Inauguration Day. An unnamed Biden official told Politico that political appointees “do not enjoy the promise of federal employment past the end of the administration in which they choose to serve.” The official said Trump’s resistance to a proper transition contributed to the shock factor for the aides left without parental leave, with the last-minute requests to extend benefits and remain on the government payroll leaving “no way to implement an exception to the rule.” But, the official noted, “appointees have been advised that they have options including COBRA and the Affordable Care Act.”