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  1. #1
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    May 2013
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    Default How to Win Unemployment Appeal After Being Fired for Misconduct

    My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: California

    I was working for my employer part time (retail store) for 6 years and 5 months, while putting myself through school (currently working on a Master's degree) . I was fired due to misconduct of purchasing clearance merchandise and returning and rebuying 16 days later because the merchandise went down substantially in price. It was all still new and i did not receive money back, instead i choose to use the credit on work clothes. This was all a difference of about 30 dollars. I have always returned and rebought clearance clothing when it went down in price without ever receiving a warning that i would be terminated for doing so, usually within a few weeks time. A lot of other employees do it as well as managers. We also do it for customers when they get angry enough. A new security manager started 3 weeks prior and decided to enforce gray area rules. I got called into the office, asked to write a statement apologizing that what i did was wrong, etc. 2 weeks later i was fired over the whole situation. I filed for unemployment benefits and just found out i was denied.I filed for an appeal and have a court day next week. What should i expect? Any tips on how to win my case would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Win Unemployment Appeal in California After Fired for Misconduct

    I'm sitting here so appalled that you think you needed to be told not flagrantly rip off your employer that I can't think of anything to suggest.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to Win Unemployment Appeal in California After Fired for Misconduct

    It's called a price adjustment, which we do for regular customers all the time. Especially when it is such a short period of time between sales.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to Win Unemployment Appeal in California After Fired for Misconduct

    I stand by my answer.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to Win Unemployment Appeal in California After Fired for Misconduct

    Quote Quoting Parislove
    View Post
    A lot of other employees do it as well as managers. We also do it for customers when they get angry enough.
    Quote Quoting Parislove
    View Post
    It's called a price adjustment, which we do for regular customers all the time. Especially when it is such a short period of time between sales.
    Let's try to maintain consistency. You have suggested to us that you and some of your co-workers did this for yourselves "all the time", but that only did it for customers on those rare occasions "when they get angry enough".

    The new LP guy was hired, and... then what? Were you the only employee who kept on engaging in these 'virtual returns' of clearance merchandise? If so, how did the others know to stop? If not, were the others disciplined and/or fired as well? (Not that they would have to be for you to be disciplined and fired.)

    What is the actual context, here? I'm picturing the clearance rack/table where items are discounted based upon how long they've been on clearance. So when something first goes on clearance, it might be 50% off. A few days later, items not purchased at 50% off get reduced to 66% off, then over time the remaining merchandise is discounted again and again until it's so cheap that even the ugliest merchandise finds a buyer. Store employees usually get a significant advantage over customers, being able to pick through the clearance merchandise and apply a store discount the moment it hits the discount rack. What you seem to be saying is that you hit the discount rack the moment something went on clearance, then "returned" it as if it had never left the shelf some 16 days later when remaining merchandise from the original clearance date was being offered at the maximum discount so you could "repurchase" it at that rock bottom price. The store's position, quite reasonably, would appear to be that if you buy a clearance item at a specific price then that's the price you should pay (further reduced by your employee discount), and that if you want to see if further discounts become available you need to leave the items on the discount rack/table and risk that customers will buy them first.

  6. #6
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    May 2013
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    8

    Default Re: How to Win Unemployment Appeal in California After Fired for Misconduct

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Let's try to maintain consistency. You have suggested to us that you and some of your co-workers did this for yourselves "all the time", but that only did it for customers on those rare occasions "when they get angry enough".

    The new LP guy was hired, and... then what? Were you the only employee who kept on engaging in these 'virtual returns' of clearance merchandise? If so, how did the others know to stop? If not, were the others disciplined and/or fired as well? (Not that they would have to be for you to be disciplined and fired.)

    What is the actual context, here? I'm picturing the clearance rack/table where items are discounted based upon how long they've been on clearance. So when something first goes on clearance, it might be 50% off. A few days later, items not purchased at 50% off get reduced to 66% off, then over time the remaining merchandise is discounted again and again until it's so cheap that even the ugliest merchandise finds a buyer. Store employees usually get a significant advantage over customers, being able to pick through the clearance merchandise and apply a store discount the moment it hits the discount rack. What you seem to be saying is that you hit the discount rack the moment something went on clearance, then "returned" it as if it had never left the shelf some 16 days later when remaining merchandise from the original clearance date was being offered at the maximum discount so you could "repurchase" it at that rock bottom price. The store's position, quite reasonably, would appear to be that if you buy a clearance item at a specific price then that's the price you should pay (further reduced by your employee discount), and that if you want to see if further discounts become available you need to leave the items on the discount rack/table and risk that customers will buy them first.

    Yes, however this policy amongst coworkers was always a gray area rule that was never enforced. Managers that still work there (but shall remained unnamed in court) showed a few of us how to do this years ago. There is nothing in the employee handbook that separates clearance price adjustment policy from our regular 30 day sale price adjustment. I was never warned that this was suddenly grounds for termination. Also, when the main interrogator left the room, the witness, another security person, stated to me that this was "no big deal, and that next time just come to the main office and have a manager approve it." They then guided me into writing an apology statement (confession) , then stated i was free to go. Basically my argument going in will be: I always assumed it was okay since managers had taught me years ago, we do it for customers all the time and i had never received any warnings. Therefore , i do not consider misconduct due to the fact that i was not warned multiple times to stop what i was doing, just the one time. I was told to basically apologize in a statement then i'd be free to go.
    Thank you for putting things into perspective. I know that it sounds bad, but it was not my intention to violate policy if i knew i could get into this much trouble for it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Can i claim ignorance since managers and customers did it and no one ever enforced it as being wrong?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to Win Unemployment Appeal in California After Fired for Misconduct

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    I'm sitting here so appalled that you think you needed to be told not flagrantly rip off your employer that I can't think of anything to suggest.
    If the OP can prove that other employees and managers were doing the same thing then it may be hard to prove any improper action by the employee (strange as it sounds).

    Now the burden is on the OP ... and the OP wrote a confession (duh, why??) so this will weigh heavily with the administrative agency.,,since the OP has not stated exactly what was in the statement its hard to make a suggestion.
    The OP needs to understand the evidence rules and ability to get witnesses available to give testimony.

    The OP needs to get her personnel file from the company prior to the hearing.

    And getting ready 7 days prior to a hearing? Not smart. I don't see a favorable outcome just due to the time issue. I would ask for a postponement of the hearing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting Parislove
    View Post
    Yes, however this policy amongst coworkers was always a gray area rule that was never enforced. Managers that still work there (but shall remained unnamed in court) showed a few of us how to do this years ago. There is nothing in the employee handbook that separates clearance price adjustment policy from our regular 30 day sale price adjustment. I was never warned that this was suddenly grounds for termination. Also, when the main interrogator left the room, the witness, another security person, stated to me that this was "no big deal, and that next time just come to the main office and have a manager approve it." They then guided me into writing an apology statement (confession) , then stated i was free to go. Basically my argument going in will be: I always assumed it was okay since managers had taught me years ago, we do it for customers all the time and i had never received any warnings. Therefore , i do not consider misconduct due to the fact that i was not warned multiple times to stop what i was doing, just the one time. I was told to basically apologize in a statement then i'd be free to go.
    Thank you for putting things into perspective. I know that it sounds bad, but it was not my intention to violate policy if i knew i could get into this much trouble for it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Can i claim ignorance since managers and customers did it and no one ever enforced it as being wrong?
    You employee handbook is not a contract .. I would object to its introduction into evidence. You should not give testimony IMO ... you should gather information favorable to your case from these managers. If you want them "unnamed" & not giving testimony - kiss your benefits goodbye...your word will likely not carry much weight after your confession.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to Win Unemployment Appeal in California After Fired for Misconduct

    Quote Quoting Parislove
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    Can i claim ignorance since managers and customers did it and no one ever enforced it as being wrong?
    No. Your defense is that it was not policy at all. A policy that is not enforced is not a policy at all. You need to provide EVIDENCE to show the policy was not enforced. And not your testimony. Others.

    And the company cannot fire a person who testifies.

    And if you do not get your personnel file do not be surprised in the company starts saying other reasons for your termination...and you'll look at the hearing officer with a stupid expression on your face.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to Win Unemployment Appeal in California After Fired for Misconduct

    No, you can't claim ignorance.


    (Well, you can, but it won't help you)
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    530

    Default Re: How to Win Unemployment Appeal in California After Fired for Misconduct

    Claiming ignorance of the rule is exactly what you must do, and it will help. You'll most likely be hit with a "rules violation." There are six elements:

    http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/Miscondu...tm#GeneralRule

    The rule is reasonable.

    The claimant knew or should have known the rule.

    The violation is wilful and wanton.

    NOTE: Violation of a reasonable employer rule is not wilful if the claimant has shown good cause for violating the rule.


    The violation is material.

    The violation substantially injures or tends to injure the employer's interests.

    The employer has warned or reprimanded the claimant for previous violations of the same or similar employer rules.


    Examine the list, and make sure you take advantage of any item that you can slant in your favor. You only need to one element to be absent, and your chances of getting UI go way up.

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