Robles v. Employment Dev. Dep’t, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1029 (2012)

Jose Robles worked as a service technician for Liquid Environmental Solutions for four years prior to his termination. His job was to collect food grease from restaurants and other food outlets. Robles’s employment was terminated after he attempted to buy shoes for a friend with the $150 annual shoe allowance that Robles received from the company. Although Robles’s intent was to “perform a noble gesture for a friend,” the EDD denied him unemployment benefits because he “broke a reasonable employer rule.” Robles challenged the EDD’s determination by filing a petition for writ of administrative mandate with the Court of Appeal, which reversed the decision of the Board because although Robles knew that the employer intended its employees to use the shoe allowance to purchase safety shoes for work, the element of culpable intent was not established. The Court also noted that the employer did not oppose benefits, did not speak with the EDD investigators and did not present evidence in opposition to the claim for benefits. See also McGuire v. Employment Dev. Dep’t, 208 Cal.App.4th 1035 (2012) (the base period to be used for determining eligibility for extended unemployment benefits is the same base period used for determining regular unemployment compensation benefits).