Victims' Economic Security and Safety Leave

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[The following was approved on January 4, 2005, in accordance with provisions set forth in SIU Board of Trustees 6.Policies C]

Southern Illinois University Carbondale is committed to full compliance with the Illinois Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act of 2003 (VESSA), which provides employees of a covered employer unpaid leave to seek service, assistance, safety or legal remedies to address domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault directed at themselves or at a family or household member.

  1. All employees are eligible for this leave beginning on the first day of employment.
  2. Notification must be provided within forty-eight hours in advance of intention to take leave unless not practicable. A certification must be provided within a reasonable period after the absence.
  3. An eligible employee who has complied with notification requirements will be granted upon request, an unpaid job protected leave for up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period if the employee or a member of the employee's family or household is a victim of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. Family and household are defined as a spouse, parent, son, daughter, and persons jointly residing in the same household. Leave is needed to address the domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault by:
    1. Seeking medical attention
    2. Obtaining services from a victim services organization
    3. Obtaining counseling or psychological services
    4. Seeking safety, by participating in safety planning, seeking shelter or securing temporary or permanent living arrangements
    5. Seeking legal assistance or remedies, including preparing for and participating in related civil or criminal proceedings
  4. Corroborating evidence demonstrating that a leave was taken for any one or more of the listed purposes shall be provided with the certification for leave.
  5. Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule.
  6. During the period the employee is on an approved VESSA leave, the employee's health, dental and basic state life insurance will be maintained under the same conditions that applied before the leave commenced.
  7. Sick and/or vacation benefits may be used for all or part of the VESSA leave in accordance with applicable SIU policies. Any portion of the leave for which such benefits are not applied will be leave without pay.
  8. An employee returning from the VESSA leave will be restored to his/her former position or to a position with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment, contingent upon the employee's continued ability to perform the essential functions of the job.