Illinois Employment & Labor Law: Victims Economic Security & Safety Act
What is the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act?
The Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act provides workplace protections to victims of domestic or sexual violence. It makes sure that employers provide victims of such crimes with the opportunities needed to vacate abusive situations. The act requires that any employee who works for an employer that employs at least 15 employees shall receive anywhere from 8-12 workweeks of leave during any 12 month period. This allows victims of abusive crimes of domestic or sexual violence an opportunity to seek help or protection, to move away from the dangerous situations, or to seek legal help if needed without fear of the employer discriminating against them for seeking leave from work.
Victims of domestic and sexual violence often bring their troubles with them to work. The legislature, by affording this protection, has provided victims with an opportunity to properly deal with their troubles rather than let it affect their work performance.
Who May Take Leave?
The Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act provides an opportunity not only for the victim, but for the victim’s family members as well, to take leave from work. The statute states that any employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence or has a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence whose interests are not adverse to the employee as it relates to the domestic or sexual violence may take unpaid leave from work to address domestic or sexual violence by
How Do I Get The Time Off?
The employee must first notify the employer that they want to take time off of work. Notice should provide the employer with the days you want to take leave and the reason for such leave. Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule. Notifying the employer of the days requested must be done 48 hours’ prior to taking leave unless providing such notice is not practicable. A Upon requesting time off work, the employer may require that the employee provide certification. Providing certification simply means that you must provide certification to the employer that either you or a member of your family/household is a victim of domestic or sexual violence and that the unpaid leave requested is to address the domestic or sexual violence by:
1. seeking medical attention for, or recovering from, physical or psychological injuries caused by domestic or sexual violence to the employee or the employee's family or household member;
2. obtaining services from a victim services organization for the employee or the employee's family or household member;
3. obtaining psychological or other counseling for the employee or the employee's family or household member;
4. participating in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocating, or taking other actions to increase the safety of the employee or the employee's family or household member from future domestic or sexual violence or ensure economic security; or
5. seeking legal assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the employee or the employee's family or household member, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or derived from domestic or sexual violence.