Know Your Rights Under the Illinos Victims Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA)


Who is eligible for VESSA protections?

The law provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the following employees:

  • An employee who is a survivor of domestic or sexual violence or
  • An employee who has a family or household member who is a survivor of domestic or sexual violence


For what reasons can an employee take VESSA leave?

  • Medical attention for, or recovery from, physical or psychological injuries
  • Victim services for employee or family/household member
  • Counseling
  • Safety planning and actions to increase the safety of a survivor
  • Acquiring legal assistance


Do I need to take the leave all at one time?

No, VESSA leave can be taken in one period or in intermittent periods, depending on the need of the survivor.


How do I show my need for VESSA leave?

Employees will be expected to provide documentation of the domestic or sexual violence. This documentation may come from a victims service organization, a clergy member, an attorney, a police or court record, or a medical professional.


If I think I need to take VESSA leave, what should I do?

Notify your Human Resources department as soon as possible. We always recommend taking a Union Shop Steward or a trusted coworker with you when you discuss your leave with management.


More details about the Victims Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) are available here HERE.