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The Practical EmployerFirst Entry for Worst Employer of the Year

I get it. New employee. No FMLA. Unclear whether he properly called off work. But seriously ...
We already have a nominee for worst employee of 2017, so why not share the love and nominate a worst employer.
Drum roll …

Man Fired For Attending Son’s Birth

The first day of the new year was pretty eventful for Lamar Austin. The 30-year-old welcomed a son and got fired on the very same day — Jan. 1. …

On Dec. 31, Austin’s wife Lindsay went into labor. He decided that he was going to stay by her side for the birth of their son … . Yet, in order to do this Austin had to forgo two days of work as a part-time security guard with a company called Salerno Protective Services while his wife was in labor.

“I thought, ‘I’m just going to do what I feel is right for my family,’ and that’s it,” he told the Huffington Post.

Austin, a military veteran and father of four, had just started the job and was on a 90-day trial period. Despite having shown up to all his previous shifts, he received a text at 1 a.m. on Jan. 1, informing him that he was terminated due to his absences.

Thankfully, my faith in humanity is not shaken. The Huffington Post reports that Austin’s email has been flooded with job offers since this story broke.

And, yes, I get it. New employee. No FMLA. Unclear whether he properly called off work. But seriously? Military vet. New father. Fired via text while by his wife’s postpartum bedside. Am I wrong to think that Salerno Protective Services deserves this nomination?

We will circle back at the end of the year to see if any employer can top this. But, for now, congratulations Salerno Protective Services, you are my first nominee for the Worst Employer of 2017. Follow along all year for future nominees, and an exciting year-end poll to name the winner (or is it the loser?) of this new feature.

Jon Hyman is a partner at Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis in Cleveland. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com. Follow Hyman’s blog at Workforce.com/PracticalEmployer.