Dad Who Was Fired For Attending Son's Birth Now Receiving Job Offers

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"Sometimes you lose something and you get something even better," former Salerno Protective Services employee Lamar Austin said after his termination.

Of all the reasons to miss a shift or two at work, the birth of your child is a pretty good one. 

New Hampshire-based Salerno Protective Services, however, didn't see it the same way: The security company fired employee Lamar Austin via text message early New Year's Day, just after his son came into the world, the Concord Monitor reports. The text read, "As of now, you are terminated."

Unfortunately, New Hampshire is considered an "at-will" employment state — meaning employers can choose to terminate an employee for generally any reason and at any time, with a couple of exceptions. 

Austin was in the midst of a 90-day trial period at the company, working as a part-time security guard and on call constantly. On Dec. 30, his wife Lindsay went into labor, and on Jan. 1, his son, Cainan, was born (the first, in fact, to be born in New Hampshire in 2017). Austin, understandably, did not complete shifts during this period. 

"Sometimes you lose something and you get something even better," he said while at Concord Hospital with his wife and new baby Jan. 1. 

Now, Austin has received at least three job opportunities: One from a business manager at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who encouraged Austin to apply for an apprenticeship; another from a union president, who offered an apprenticeship; and finally, a branch manager at a staffing company, who extended his services to Austin. 

A former select board member in the nearby town of Hopkinton is speaking out in favor of paid family leave for workers. 

"I don't think anyone should ever have to choose between their family and their job," Sara Persechino said. She has also set up a GoFundMe page for Austin: "I don't think [the family] should have to be worrying about financial issues right now; it should be a joyful time for them."

Salerno Protective Services hasn't offered much of a defense. 

"Being shrouded in confidentiality we are unable to comment until all business with Mr. Austin has been concluded," President and CEO Anthony Salerno wrote in an email. "SPS is not in the practice of releasing employees for reasons stated in the article [the Concord Monitor] published but must be cognizant of the product we give our clients!"

Sounds like a great place to work.

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr, Kate hiscock

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