My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California
In an investigation of use of foul language/sexual language in the workplace a manager was directed to "confiscate" an adult novel that the employee was being accused of reading from. The manager was instructed to do this by the local H.R. Manager of the large company they work for. The manager firmly believed that this would constitute theft and was very unethical, and there were no policies that stated the company or any representative of it could take personal property from employees and they expressed their concerns with the HR manager. The H.R. manager stated that "she knew what she was doing" and that she needed that book for evidence and to get it. The manager agreed to follow her direction only after they felt that they would lose their job under insubordination if they did not follow her directive.
The manager returned to the employee and asked the employee for the book. The employee ripped it partly in half because the employee did not want to hand it over. Finally the employee gave up the book. The HR Manager kept it and refused to return it. The employee was terminated as a result of the investigation and book never returend even after it was requested to be returned. Does any employer have the right to do this?