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Former Ivanka Trump Clothing Exec Slams Company’s Maternity Leave Policy

Photograph by Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock

With the presidential election just a few weeks away (finally!), more information about the candidates’ proposed policies are being discussed. One of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s policies has captured the attention of a woman who used to work for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.

And that woman wasn’t too happy about it, either.

Marissa Velez Kraxberger, who worked as Trump’s chief marketing and creative officer, revealed in a Facebook post on Oct. 11, Ivanka Trump’s actions and words differ drastically.

When Kraxberger first interviewed with Trump, she was two months pregnant. She says when Trump offered her the job, she was thrilled. Kraxberger then asked about maternity leave. Trump said she’d have to think about it, adding that she went back to work a week after giving birth to her first child.

Kraxberger decided to speak out after seeing Trump deliver a speech at the Republican National Convention where she spoke passionately about family values and the importance of women getting equal pay and saying that her father, Donald Trump, will be a family-friendly president. She said her father would “focus on making quality child care affordable and accessible to all.”

“As a mother myself, of three young children, I know how hard it is to work while raising a family,” Ivanka Trump said. “American families need relief. Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties, they should be the norm.”

In her Facebook post, Kraxberger said this part of Ivanka’s speech made her feel “ill.”

She admits that accepting the job without a clear maternity leave policy in place probably wasn’t the wisest idea. Turns out she and her team had to “fight long and hard” to get Trump to agree to eight weeks of maternity leave.

Kraxberger and her team created the hashtag #WomenWhoWork—which, ironically, Trump uses to pump up her self-named brand. A brand that, according to Forbes, pulls in revenues of $100 million a year.

Back in August, the Washington Post revealed that G-III, the company that designs, manufactures and distributes Trump’s clothing line, does not offer paid maternity leave to its employees. A few workers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Post they had to save up all of their vacation days to take time off after giving birth. But Trump’s company spokesperson tells a different tale—the company offers eight weeks paid maternity leave to new mothers.

Ivanka Trump is one of the creators of her father’s family leave policy platform, which has promised to make child care tax-deductible for citizens making less than $250,000 a year.

According to a 2014 Department of Labor report, most large companies offer some type of paid maternity or family leave. The federal government offers 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

Kraxberger, who now works for clothing company Rag & Bone, says she doesn’t think Ivanka Trump is a bad person, just out of touch with the struggles of the average working mother.

“I can see how it might be possible to go back to work after having a baby when you have a lot of help at home,” Kraxberger wrote her in Facebook post. “I am, however, saying that if you truly support parenting and children, then you actually have to support it fully … and that also means supporting maternity leave for adopted children and paternity leave, as well. How can she claim that their maternity policy is a comprehensive solution for our country?”

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