Is a striking employee entitled to unemployment insurance?

Author: Irene Stavrellis Englert, Englert Legal Consulting, LLC

It depends on state law. In most states, a union employee on strike is not eligible for unemployment insurance. However, the period during which a striking employee is disqualified from eligibility varies from state to state, with some states disqualifying striking employees from eligibility for the duration of the strike and other states only disqualifying striking employees for a fixed period of time. Thus, an employer should consult local counsel about the specific state law provisions before seeking to deny unemployment compensation to a striking employee.