Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Victor Hugo redux: fired for sharing shoes

The Cal First District came through in an appellate decision for Jose Robles of Alameda County, who should soon be collecting unemployment benefits -- or so it appears, and I hope so. Here's what he went through first, from an employer who claimed that he was fired for misconduct and therefore shouldn't collect:
“Jose Robles testified without contradiction to the following at the hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) of respondent Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (Board): He worked as a service technician for Liquid Environmental Solutions for four years until his termination on January 5, 2010. His job was to collect food grease from restaurants and other food outlets. His pay was $20.75 an hour.
Robles’s supervisor called him on that last day for a meeting and told him he was suspended because of “the incident.” The incident related to Robles’s attempt to buy shoes for a friend in need at the Red Wing Shoe Store, where company employees buy work shoes for the job every year with a $150 shoe allowance. Robles asked the clerk if she would measure his friend’s foot because he “intended to give it to my friend” who needed shoes. Robles reasoned that he had a good pair of shoes and his friend needed them more than he did. The clerk told Robles “that was not possible.”
Robles explained that he did not have any “malintention [sic] of anything.” He knew the allowance was for him, but he could afford to give it to a friend in need and the company would not be jeopardized because he had other shoes. His intent was to perform a noble gesture for a friend. In his view there was a misunderstanding of company policy but no misconduct. He “attempted to do it and then I was told I cannot do it, . . . let it go.” ”
Oh, frevvinsakes, this man has been waiting two-and-one-half years for his benefits over an attempted, uncompleted kind gesture over a lousy pair of shoes?

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