My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California
I have been denied unemployment benefits (found "not eligible" by EDD) because I "broke a reasonable employment rule". ....."discharged for misconduct". The nutshell version: I had a 'penknife' or 'multi-tool'(description follows) in my pocket at the time of an altercation with another employee while on the clock. (Employer rules specifically state that no weapons are permissible.) This tool only came out of my pocket when my supervisor arrived (post-confrontation) and asked me if I had a knife- to which I replied honestly and removed it from my pocket to show her. (I should have lied-there's no way anyone could've proved otherwise without a pat-down search-!) She looked at it and scoffed: "Are you serious?" I confirmed and said the only thing I had in my hand(s) at any time was a magnifying glass which I was using to examine my pocket change.
Tool description: similar to a tiny metal book with only three pages which are attached at one end by a hinge or pivot. To 'view a page' (use a tool) hold the 'cover' with one hand and use the other to pivot one, two, or all three 'pages' (tools) out from the cover. The three tools: a blunt-tipped, single edge blade about 1 1/2" long , a flat screwdriver tip and a nail file. None of the tools 'lock' into place (open or closed). In fact this 'multi-tool' was originally marketed as a 'keychain'-it came with a ball chain (which ran through the pivot/hinge) to which you could add your keys.
I'm going to appeal the EDD decision: my contention is that this 'tool' does not constitute a 'weapon' as the term is generally understood but it's proving remarkably difficult to find a clear 'legal' definition as California law 'defines' the term in relation my 'tool-thing'. I'm at wits' end, I had applied (and been approved) for unemployment benefits three months prior to my termination but had not submitted any claim forms or collected any benefits (money) because I was still working.......now they're saying 'no'.. I didn't start the fight, the other employee had attempted to get combative a week prior ( I reported that incident at that time). During the final altercation I was struck in the face by the other employee, a provocation I desperately wanted to respond to but did not, despite their further efforts to 'egg me on'.