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I made a mistake off-the-job that led to me losing my job.


(California)

I made a mistake off-the-job that led me losing my job. I get it, I messed up.


The letter of denial reads, “You are not eligible to receive benefits under California unemployment insurance code Section 1256 beginning 05-08-16 and continuing until you return to work after the disqualifying act and earn $2,250 or more in bona fide employment, and you contact the above office to reopen your claim.”

It goes on, “You were discharged from your last job with ____ because of your off-the-job conduct.”

EDD denied my claim based on Section 1256 Provides - An individual is disqualified if the department finds he voluntarily quit his most recent work without good cause or was discharged for misconduct from his most recent work.

The letter goes on to say Section 1260A Provides - An individual disqualified under Section 1256 is disqualified until he/she, subsequent to the disqualifying act, performs services in bona fide employment for which he/she receives remuneration equal to or in excess of five times his or her weekly benefit amount.

I have a few questions:

Since the mistake happened off-the-job, is that enough for me to appeal?

What counts as bona fide employment?

I could settle tomorrow at a filler job that pays a fraction of what I will find in due time (I have a strong resume, excellent experience, and great referrals) but will I be expected to keep that filler job? In other words, if I earn the amount that the EDD wants me to earn, quit that filler job, and resume my search for a job better-suited to my strengths will I then be eligible?

What if I simply stick to my job search, live off savings, and land the right job for myself? Could I then reopen my claim and get “back pay” from EDD from May 8 (when I first opened the claim?

Thanks!!


Answer: I made a mistake off-the-job that led to me losing my job



I can't believe how long it took for someone to find the only submission form for the blog .. I've left up.

Guess I'll answer one more to add to the "I got fired Q&As"


Question: Since the mistake happened off-the-job, is that enough for me to appeal?



Answer: Can't answer this one as I would require knowing how the mistake made away from work, was actually connected to the work, or your ability to continue doing the job you were hired to do and the actual reason for the discharge.

But anyone can file an appeal, even knowing full well why they likely can't win the hearing.

Question: What counts as bona fide employment?



Answer: Bona fide work generally means a real job, or that which pays a wage subject to witholdings. That's pretty much all at-will employment covered by unemployment insurance.

You may want to read discussions about this and total and partial unemployment at California's UIBDG. It's linked to on the resource page.It's linked to on the resource page.

Question: I could settle tomorrow at a filler job that pays a fraction of what I will find in due time (I have a strong resume, excellent
experience, and great referrals) but will I be expected to keep that filler job? In other words, if I earn the amount that the EDD wants me to earn, quit that filler job, and resume my search for a job better-suited to my strengths will I then be eligible?



Answer: No. That isn't how unemployment works. You are expected to look for suitable work though, so if a filler job is suitable work for you, you'd have to be laid off from it, quit it with good cause, or be fired from it for something other than misconduct, to actually reopen your claim with the hope of collecting benefits .. even if you purged the earning disqualification. (Suitable work is also discussed in the CA UIBDG)


Question: What if I simply stick to my job search, live off savings, and land the right job for myself? Could I then reopen my claim and get “back pay” from EDD from May 8 (when I first opened the claim?



Answer: California allows a person to purge earnings disqualification, but that doesn't mean they let people purge the mistakes they made to be disqualified and get back paid for the benefits you were disqualified from receiving.

In California, as well as many other states, it's the most recent separation from employment, subsequent to the job that caused the claim to be filed in the first place, that controls non-monetary eligibility to receive benefits going forward throughout the remainder of the benefit year .. even if someone was initially allowed to collect for .. let's say a lack of work.

But what of they don't like the idea of collecting benefits until they find suitable work and accept any old job that is definitely not suitable, at least per what they think.. say a filler job.

Ignoring some very important criteria that defines suitability of work, they then decide to quit when they realize just how unsuitable the job was. Unsuitable to their prior job experiences, training, schooling, degrees, rate of pay .. etc and they quit, or even get fired without the ability to prove a thing they need to.

Now we have a person who was initially allowed benefits for a bona fide lack of work claim, who can no longer collect that benefits, until, or unless they return to another job one more time and earn 5 times their weekly benefit amount and then still must suffer another job separation that is then the last separation upon which the state will now determine one more time if they are non-monetary eligible to collect any remaining benefits .. at least until the BYE (benefit year ends) date of the claim they filed so long ago.


My sincere advice is since you admitted you know you messed up, it is time to polish up that excellent resume and go get another suitable job vs. immediately lowering your expectations to finding just any job to fill the void of a lack of benefits with .. if you've got saving to live off of.

Searching for suitable work, after all, is what an unemployed person is expected to fill that job search log up with.

Chris

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I would appeal too under those circumstances and for more reason than it's California unemplioyment we're discussing.
by: Chris - Unemployment-Tips.com

If an employer wanted make this discharge more tenable for a UI case of misconduct, I'd think they would have conducted an investigation into the veracity of this person statement .. although you've admitted to it here.

Additionally, maybe they should of fired this other person who accused you, because to do that, it seems reasonable they would of also had to admit they bought weed off the job for their own use .. while this company's employee.

Did they send you for a drug test to start things off?

That might of been a good way to start an investigation into this sort of allegation made by one employee .. against another.

For all I know, they may a direct report, or subordinate of your's, with a proverbial axe to grind because of the sort of boss you are.

I really hate it when I start assuming facts, but I also assume you can sort this out and handle it all just fine.

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Thank you!
by: Doh!

Wow. That was a fast reply!

The infraction was, in short, that outside of work someone I supervised helped me get marijuana. A year later this person was angry with me and decided to tell HR. I know.. I know... dumbest move on my part ever. Had I simply carved the time to get my medical marijuana card, I would have been fine.
This was an infraction on the company's policy, but it had no impact on me doing my actual job. In fact I was doing quite fantastic. My VP of HR, my old boss, and multiple people at the company have already offered to give a positive reference if I need it.


Thank you for the guidance on whether or not I ought to find a filler job. I'm relieved; job-hunting is full-time work in itself so settling for something lame would only prolong my search.

I'm going to appeal, because it can't hurt, and if that doesn't work I'll nevertheless reopen the claim once I land my next job. We'll see what happens!

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