Affected by COVID-19?

The federal stimulus bill that extends CARES Act unemployment benefits was signed into law. Visit the COVID-19 page for the latest information. Please try not to call our Unemployment Claims Center with questions as call volume remains very high.

Were you laid off or fired?

There is a difference between being laid off and fired.

  • Generally, we treat your job loss as a layoff if your employer is not replacing you, and you'll qualify for unemployment benefits if you meet all of the eligibility criteria.
  • If your employer is replacing you, we generally will treat you as being fired.

Examples of layoffs

  • Your employer has no work available
  • Your assignment ended
  • Your employer went out of business
  • Your position was eliminated
  • You're required to participate in temporary classroom apprenticeship training
  • You're a seasonal employee and the season ended
  • Your employer temporarily shut down for reasons such as weather, materials delay, natural disaster or temporary maintenance closure


If you were fired through no fault of your own, such as not having the skills to do the job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. If we decide you were fired or suspended for misconduct or gross misconduct, you will not qualify for unemployment benefits.

Misconduct examples

  • Deliberate or wanton disregard for your employer or a fellow employee, such as:
    • Insubordination
    • Repeated inexcusable tardiness following warnings
    • Dishonesty related to employment
    • Repeated and inexcusable absences
    • Violating the law or deliberate acts that provoke violence or illegal actions, or violating a collective bargaining agreement
    • Violating a company rule
  • Deliberately violating or disregarding standards of behavior that your employer has a right to expect.
  • Carelessness or negligence that causes, or will likely cause, serious bodily harm to your employer or fellow employees.
  • Carelessness or negligence that is so bad or happens so often that it shows an intentional or substantial disregard for your employer.

Gross misconduct examples

  • A criminal act in connection with your work for which you have been convicted in a criminal court or have admitted committing.
  • Conduct connected with your work that demonstrates a flagrant and wanton disregard for your employer or a fellow employee.

If we determine that you were fired or suspended for misconduct or gross misconduct connected with your work, we deny you benefits for at least 10 weeks and until you earn at least 10 times your weekly benefit amount in a job that is covered by unemployment insurance. If we deny you benefits based on gross misconduct, we will remove wages and hours from your unemployment insurance records.  Once the wages are removed, these wages are no longer available for your use and  may cause you to be ineligible for future unemployment benefits.

Note: Italicized terms are defined in the glossary in the Handbook for Unemployed Workers.