Strikes and labor disputes

A labor dispute is a strike or lockout. Striking workers generally are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Workers locked out by their employers are generally eligible for unemployment benefits. We determine eligibility for unemployment benefits on a case-by-case basis for workers in a labor dispute.

Apply for unemployment benefits, and keep filing your weekly claims while you are waiting for our decision.


You may be considered on strike if:

  • Your union is on strike,
  • You picket or strike, even if you're not a member of the union or bargaining unit,
  • You picket or strike as a contractor,
  • You refuse work for any reason if work is available, or
  • You strike because you were told to by a union representative.


You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if:

  • You are locked out by your employer or laid off due to lack of work because of the strike,
  • If you quit your job during the labor dispute,
  • If you are fired during the labor dispute, or
  • If you are replaced during the labor dispute.