All Illinois Employers Are Now Required to Provide Leave Under the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act

Authored by Benjamin R. Marble, Heidi L. Eckert, Karen E. Milner

Dec 23, 2016

The Illinois legislature has recently amended the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) to require ALL employers to provide various lengths of leave for employees who have been victims of domestic or sexual violence or to employees whose family members are victims of such violence.
The purpose of the original law was to allow employees who have been victims themselves, or who are related to victims of sexual or domestic violence, to take leave in order to deal with the issues surrounding such abuse.

The current law requires employers with 15 to 49 employees to allow those affected employees to take eight weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period. Employers who have 50 or more employees must allow their employees who need to deal with such abuse issues to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period.

Changes Effective Jan. 1, 2017

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, Illinois HB 4036 will require that currently exempt employers – those with 14 or fewer employees – provide their employees with up to four weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period to address issues related to their or family members’ abuse related issues.


If you have any questions regarding VESSA or any other employment matter, please contact Heidi L. Eckert, Karen E. Milner, or Benjamin Marble.

Page 1 of 11