Unemployment Insurance benefits are available in every state to help people who are out of work. To qualify, you must be laid off or without work through no fault of your own. If you were fired or quit, you generally won't be able to collect unemployment benefits; unless you can prove that you had a good cause, such as harassment or discrimination in the workplace. A true leave of absence means you plan to return to work, so you aren't considered unemployed yet.
Mutually Agreed Leave of Absence
If you're on a
- Medical leave
- Maternity leave
- Workers' Compensation leave
Unauthorized Leave of Absence
If you decide to take a leave of absence without permission or approval from your employer, it isn't classified as a true leave of absence. Even if you discussed leaving and getting rehired if a position is available, it'll be considered a voluntary leave of absence. If no work is available or you can't return to the job, you won't be eligible for unemployment, since you chose to terminate your employment by leaving.
An employer may place you on administrative leave or an investigatory suspension as a disciplinary action for your behavior. During your leave, the employer may be deciding whether or not to keep you as an employee. You won't be considered unemployed during this period and won't be able to file for unemployment. If the employer decides you should retain employment, you must be compensated for the lost wages during the leave. If he decides your employment should be terminated due to your behavior or actions, you won't receive any pay for the leave. When you're fired because of your behavior, you won't qualify for unemployment benefits.