Employees who fail to return to work after taking medical leave can’t claim unemployment benefits if there was a job available when they were medically cleared to work.
Recent case: Thomas McNally worked part time at a Stop & Shop. He stopped showing up. Two weeks later, his sister told the company he was in the hospital. At that point, the company approved medical leave.
But McNally never came back, even after receiving medical clearance. Instead, he applied for unemployment compensation, claiming a co-worker told him Stop & Shop had hired someone to replace him. McNally never called his supervisor; if he had, he would have been invited back.
The court denied benefits for McNally, saying he had quit. (McNally v. Board of Review, No. A-0451-09T1, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, 2011)