Do I qualify for unemployment benefits if I did not qualify for maternity leave?

UPDATED: Feb 19, 2012

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Do I qualify for unemployment benefits if I did not qualify for maternity leave?

I went on maternity leave 3 weeks prior to my due date and 6 weeks after my baby was born. My job said they would hold my job for 6 weeks but they did not assure me the same shift I held before. However they did say that they would give me what ever shift they had available. Also, they said after 6 weeks there would be no position for me because I did not qualify for family leave since I did not work for over a year. My baby got very sick at 4 weeks old; she was sick for about 3 weeks. I thought just in case Iwould send a letter to stay as per diem after the 6 weeks. Can I qualify for unemployment; I am a single mom.

Asked on February 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you are fired or laid off, you should be eligible for unemployment. However, if you voluntarily leave your job, including to care for your child (assuming that your employer is correct, and you do not qualify for Familty and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, leave), then you most likely cannot receive unemployment compensation. Unemployment insurance is almost never available when people voluntarily leave work, even when they do so for what almost anyone would consider to be a good reason.

If you want to check whether you are eligible for FMLA leave, you can find the criteria at the U.S. Department of Labor website.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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