New Hampshire man fired over text message after missing shift for son's birth

There's plenty of reasons to take a day off from work – a big event, a sick day, a holiday.

We'd also venture to say that the birth of a child falls on that same list of appropriate reasons to miss a work day.

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But for Lamar Austin of Concord, New Hampshire it seems as though this didn't ring true as the New Year rang in – Austin was fired by his employer, Salerno Protective Services, for missing his shift in order to attend the birth of his son, Cainan Austin, on January 1.

Austin was scheduled to work Friday, December 30 and Satuday, December 31.

His wife, Lindsay Austin, went into labor that Friday.

Lamar Austin told the Concord Monitor:

"I didn't want to make it seem like I'm trying to miss work or something. 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 tomorrow we are going to terminate you."

Austin received a text message later that evening form his boss that read:

"As of now, you are terminated."

What's even worse is that the text message came in a group message format, including Austin's number in a group of "other numbers he didn't recognize."

Is this legal?

The short answer is technically a 'yes' in the state of New Hampshire.

Since New Hampshire is an "at-will" employment state, employers can fire full-time and part-time employees for virtually any reason they see fit at any time.

Anthony Salaerno Jr., of Salerno Protective Services, said in a statement regarding Austin's termination:

"Being shrouded in confidentiality we are unable to comment until all business with Mr. Austin has been concluded. SPS is not in the practice of releasing employees for reasons stated in the article published in the Monitor but must be cognizant of the product we give our clients!"

Austin, however, is keeping an upbeat attitude throughout this situation and choosing not to fight back.

His method of getting through his period of unemployment? His faith:

"It's been tough, but God has always provided for me when I needed it."

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