Illinois Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) leave


VESSA leave is absence to address issues arising from being a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or having a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence.


Service. This leave has no length of service requirement.


Holding the job. The job is held for up to 12 weeks in any 12 month period. In the case of intermittent leave of absence taken through a reduced work schedule, the job may be held for the time equivalent to 12 weeks of the employee's work schedule.

Pay. VESSA leave can be taken either without pay or staff may use accrued vacation, personal floating holiday time, Extended Sick Time (if approved by the claims administrator), or Incidental Sick Time to care for him or herself or a family member. While Incidental Sick Time is limited to seven calendar days immediately prior to an approved Extended Sick Time absence, there are specific circumstances when a staff member may use up to their annual allowance of Incidental Sick Time. These circumstances arise when:

  • Staff members with less than six months of service are unable to wrok due to their own illness (this includes birth of a child),
  • Satt members have been approved for intermittent FMLA and need to be away from work, and,
  • Staff members must care for a sick family member and be absent from work.

Other benefits. An individual on a VESSA leave can continue other insurance benefits by paying the employee contribution of the premium for the insurance each month. The University continues to pay the employer contribution during the leave.

Application Procedure

Application. Staff members must provide the University with at least 48 hours advance notice of their intention to take a VESSA leave, unless providing such notice is not practical.

Approval. The VESSA leave application and certification are required for review and approval by the Benefits Division. The application is the FMLA form and should be used for VESSA leaves.

End of Leave

Return to work. The employee reports to work as scheduled at the end of the leave.

Extension. The employing department may extend the leave and hold the job for 3 additional months if operations permit. An extension requires the confirmation of the Department of Human Resources.