I am facing a situation where my EAD will expire in a few weeks and the new one has not yet been issued. Do I have any options besides taking a full leave of absence without pay/quitting/being fired?
One can only work with a valid EAD. It is simple as that.
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I suggest you do not use any term of art techniques to work without an EAD. You have to wait for its issuance, once you have it you may resume lawful employment.
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It is not "volunteering" just because the employer will stop paying you. It is still considered employment.
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