A 30-year-old military veteran is looking for a new job after he was reportedly let go for missing work to witness the birth of his son.
Lamar Austin, a father of four in Concord, New Hampshire, told the Concord Monitor he entered into a 90-day contract as a part-time security guard. Salerno Protective Services told Austin they were looking for “dependable people” and that he would have to be on call 24/7.
Well, things began going south after an employee called off due to a snowstorm. Austin was asked to cover that employee’s shift but declined. His pregnant wife, Lindsay, was due to give birth in three days and Austin had to take her to a doctors appointment. The following Friday and Saturday his wife went into labor and Austin informed his boss that he was unable to come in.
“The second day I told my boss, ‘My wife is still in labor,’ and he just said, ‘You’re forcing my hand, if you aren’t in work by 8:00 tomorrow we are going to terminate you,’” Austin described. “I thought, ‘Family comes before anything else. I’m not going to turn my back on them for a job.”
Once Lamar Austin’s story hit the web people were both outraged and supportive. A GoFundMe has been set up in support of Austin’s family during his job transition with $6,000 already raised. The account was set up by a woman who doesn’t even know the family.
“I have a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old and not only was my husband able to be there for both births, he had time home with me and the girls after. I can’t imagine having to choose between seeing your son born and keeping your job,” Sara Pereschino, the page founder, said. “If we’re really going to do right by our working families, companies and governments need to step up to institute policies like paid family leave.”
Twitter went wild too in criticizing Austin’s former employer. “Witnessing the birth of your child should be a right, not a privilege,” a user wrote. “The ‘work’ culture in America is disgusting…,” another tweeted.
Check out reaction to Lamar Austin’s termination below.
https://t.co/IwXWsxuXYG— Piper Amos (@piperjamos) January 8, 2017
THIS IS SO SAD
Witnessing the birth of your child should be a right, not a privilege. https://t.co/dYcvxrWKEO— Ashley Bloodworth (@__ashually) January 8, 2017
👍 family should always come first https://t.co/Ay4xv1wBAA— resha adi pradipta (@adiresha) January 8, 2017
(Photo: The Concord Monitor)