CONCORD, N.H. (WSVN) — A new father got some pretty bad news during what should have been one of the happiest moments of his life: his boss fired him via text message for missing work as his wife gave birth.
The Concord Monitor in New Hampshire reported that Lamar Austin missed work when his wife went into labor. Austin had recently been hired as a security guard for Salerno Protective Services, and was still on a 90-day new hire probationary period. Austin said he missed two shifts Friday and Saturday while his wife Lindsay was in labor in the hospital.
Lindsay gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Cainan Sunday morning, but not before her husband received a text message from his boss at 1 a.m. that said, “As of now, you are terminated.”
The paper reported that Austin was warned he would be fired if he did not report to work at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Austin decided that being with his wife to see the birth of his son took precedence.
New Hampshire is an “at-will” state, which means an employer can fire an employee for any reason. Austin said he would not fight the company’s decision. The company said Tuesday it wouldn’t comment on an employee’s status.
But once word got out about the unfortunate circumstance, members of the community stepped up to lend a hand. Austin received several job offers from local businesses after his story was published in the paper, and the family received help from their church and veterans programs, since Austin previously served in the U.S. Army.
One person even set up a GoFundMe page to help out the newly-expanded family. “No one should have to choose between their family and their job,” Sara Persechino wrote on the fundraiser page. “Welcoming a new baby to a family should be a joyous time.”
Persechino said she did not know the family personally, but felt compelled to help in “an effort to ease any financial pressures they may be facing as they welcome a new member into their family and experience the unexpected loss of income.”
Austin said he was surprised and “beyond grateful” for the outpouring of support.
“Sometimes you lose something and you get something even better,” he said.
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