HEALTH

After dad is fired for missing work for son's birth, a community steps up

Lamar Austin said he was fired for missing a shift at work during his son's birth.

Lamar Austin said he was fired for missing a shift at work during his son's birth.  (Support the Austin Family)

A month ago, Lamar Austin was hired by a security company for a 90-day trial period that involved him being on call 24/7. On New Year's Day, Austin's son was born.

Austin, who had already had to miss one shift offered to him due to a doctor's appointment for his wife, ended up missing shifts on Friday and Saturday.

Son Cainan was born Sunday, and at 1am that day, Austin got a text notifying him he'd been terminated from Salerno Protective Services. Austin's story made headlines, especially due to the fact that Cainan was the first baby born in Concord, NH, in 2017.

"If I have to choose between work and family, I’m always going to pick my family," Austin told the Monitor shortly after his son's birth. Since then, people have been stepping up to help Austin, a 30-year-old military veteran and father of four, big-time.

He's gotten offers for at least three jobs, plus money raised for him on a GoFundMe page set up by a mother who was upset by what happened to Austin—even though, as experts explain to the Concord Monitor, it's perfectly legal in an "at-will" employment state such as New Hampshire.

In a statement reported by WCVB, Anthony Salerno Jr. cited confidentiality in not commenting on the particulars of the situation, but did say "SPS is not in the practice of releasing employees for reasons stated in the article published in the monitor [sic] but must be cognizant of the product we give our clients!" But there's no bad blood, Austin tells the Monitor.

"[Salerno] had his company, which is like his baby, and I had my baby ... Naturally, he’s going to pick his baby over my baby. I can't blame him for that." (This waitress lost her job for firing a shot at robbers.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Community Steps Up After Dad Fired for Attending Son's Birth