Q. We are in contract negotiations, and there is some concern that our employees will actually vote to go out on strike. Are striking employees eligible for unemployment in Michigan? — F.B.
A. No. In fact, employees who are locked out by the company are not eligible either. But striking or locked-out employees can requalify for unemployment compensation benefits if, during the strike or lockout, they have other employment for two consecutive weeks and are paid the same amount or more than they earned while working for the employer involved in the labor dispute.
There are special rules and a special form to file with the Michigan Employment Security Commission (MESC) if your employees will be disqualified because of the labor-dispute rules. As you prepare your labor dispute contingency plan, you will want to be familiar with the necessary MESC filings.