Sunday, January 8, 2017

When one door shuts, three more open

"Sometimes you lose something and you get something even better," said Lamar Austin of Pittsfield, New Hampshire, after sacrificing his job to be with his wife Lindsay at the birth to their son, Cainan -- the first baby born in 2017 in the Granite State. Austin, an Army veteran, was on a 90-day trial period working part-time as a security guard when he told his boss why he'd be absent on New Year's Day. He got a text saying he was "terminated." His story appeared in the Concord Monitor, and readers questioned whether anyone should be fired for missing work due to the birth of a child.

                                                                                             Leah Willingham / Concord Monitor
New Hampshire is an "at will" employment state, where a boss may generally fire any worker at any time for any reason. So Austin had little legal protection, and that's one reason former town board member Sara Persechino started a GoFundMe campaign to ease his stress until he found another job. In two days, 100 people donated more than $2,000. Best of all, three local employers contacted Austin with job offers, as well as an apprenticeships in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and New Hampshire AFL/CIO. Austin is sure being with his wife at the birth of their child was the right decision.

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