Skip Navigation

Printer-friendly version

Strikes and labor disputes

(Updated May 29, 2013)


Striking workers are not eligible for unemployment benefits if they participate in a labor dispute when work is available. This policy was established by Washington state law (RCW 50.20.090) which details how strikes affect benefits.

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 if work is available for any reason.
  • You strike because you were told to by a union representative.

You may be eligible for benefits despite the strike if:

  • You are locked out by your employer or laid off due to lack of work because of the strike.
  • You're not a member of the union and you were laid off due to lack of work.
  • If you quit your job during the strike.
  • If you are fired during the strike.
  • If you are replaced during the strike.

If you have more questions, please contact the claims center (toll-free) at 800-318-6022.

Connect with Employment Security
Twitter icon FaceBook icon Blog icon