Job Offers Are Pouring In For The Dad Who Lost His Job After Attending His Son's Birth

Photo: Getty Images.
Over the New Year's holiday weekend, New Hampshire resident Lamar Austin had a choice to make: Stay with his 26-year-old wife, Lindsay, who was in labor with the couple's fourth child, or go to work.

The military veteran, 30, didn't have to think long about what to do. He would be there to support his wife and welcome their son. He would just have to miss a shift at Salerno Protective Services, where he had recently begun working as a part-time security guard.

"I thought, 'I’m just going to do what I feel is right for my family,' and that’s it," he told the Huffington Post.

Austin then spend the next several hours focusing on his wife and their son, Cainan, who was born just before 8 a.m. on New Year's Day. But he had just started the job at Salerno about a month earlier, and was still on a 90-day trial period; he was expected to be on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and that included New Year's Eve while his wife was in labor. So when he missed his shift, he was unceremoniously fired via text message just after midnight on January 1.
"I just responded 'ok,'" he told The Concord Monitor, which first reported the story. "I was in the hospital, it was a long night, and I wasn’t trying to argue with nobody about a job while my wife was in labor."

If this story makes your blood boil, we're right there with you. But firing an employee for missing a shift — even if that employee had an excellent, easily verifiable reason — is perfectly legal. New Hampshire is an "at-will" employment state. Translation: "You can quit or be fired at any time for almost any reason, or even for no reason," according to the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Still, it all seems pretty heartless — and apparently the community thought so, too. After Austin's story appeared in The Concord Monitor, he and his family reportedly received an outpouring of support. Sara Persechino, a former town board member and family leave advocate, even set up a GoFundMe page for the family.

"I don’t think anyone should ever have to choose between their family and their job,” she told The Concord Monitor.

So far, the page has raised nearly $9,000 of the $10,000 goal.

The best part: Austin has also received multiple job offers, including an apprenticeship through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which he told the HuffPo he intends to pursue.
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