Army Veteran Fired for Missing Work to Attend Son’s Birth

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Three year Army veteran, Lamar Austin of Pittsfield, New Hampshire, was fired for skipping work to be with his wife, Lindsay, while she gave birth to their baby boy, Cainan.

On Sunday afternoon at Concord Hospital, when The Concord Monitor interviewed Austin about his reaction to losing his job, he said he is “positive ” and ” focusing on his new son instead of the job he lost.” He added, “Sometimes you lose something and you get something even better.”

Austin was recently hired by Salerno Protective Services as a part-time security guard for stores and college campuses, which required him to be on call 24/7.

Reportedly, he missed one shift during his first month in order to take his wife to a doctor’s appointment. He missed shifts on December 30 and 31 while his wife was in labor, even though his boss warned against him doing so.

“I didn’t want to make it seem like I’m trying to miss work or something,” said Austin. “The second day I told my boss, ‘My wife is still in labor,’ and his boss said, ‘You’re forcing my hand, if you aren’t in work by 8 tomorrow we are going to terminate you.'”

Lindsey went into labor on Friday and gave birth Sunday morning. Austin received a text on New Year’s Day that stated, “As of now, you are terminated.”

At the time of his dismissal, he was still within his 90-day trial period. When he was hired by this company, they told him that they needed “dependable people,” said Austin.

President and CEO Anthony Salerno gave his statement on Wednesday that said, “Being shrouded in confidentiality we are unable to comment until all business with Mr. Austin has been concluded.”  He added, “SPS is not in the practice of releasing employees for reasons stated in the article you published but must be cognizant of the product we give our clients!”

A business manager from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Concord, Denis Beaudoin, saw his story in the newspaper and offered Austin an opportunity to apply for an apprenticeship, reported The Concord Monitor.

According to the report, Beaudoin felt that electrical work might offer a more flexible environment for Austin, who is devoted to his growing family. She said, “I know how valuable family time is, and if you’re a union member we incorporate that, we understand that, and we don’t penalize you for that.”

Austin’s moving story struck a cord with many readers. In response, he has received multiple job offers, an outpouring of support, and even a fundraiser in his family’s name to help them during the transition.

H/T: The Concord Monitor

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