How much advance notice do I need to give my employer to take time off from work? And what proof do I need to provide?
You must give your employer at least 48 hours’ advance notice of your intention to take the leave, unless providing such notice is impossible. When an unscheduled absence occurs (one where you did not give advance notice), the employer cannot take any actions against you if, within a reasonable period after the absence, you provide the necessary documents.1
In terms of the proof that you need to give to your employer, you only have to provide proof (“certification”) if the employer asks you for it. You can satisfy this certification requirement by writing a sworn statement saying that:
- you or your family/household member is a victim of domestic, sexual, or gender violence, or a “crime of violence;” and
- the leave is for one of the allowable reasons explained in What legal or medical actions, specifically, can I use my time off from work to do?2
In addition, if you have any of the following documents in your possession, then you need to give one of them, whichever one you prefer, to your employer:
- documentation from a victim services organization, an attorney, a member of the clergy, or a medical or other professional from who you sought help from in addressing domestic, sexual, or gender violence, or a “crime of violence;”
- a police or court record; or
- other evidence.2
However, if you don’t have any of the above documents, that’s OK. The sworn statement is enough.2
Note: Whenever you ask for time off to deal with these issues, it might be a good idea to ask your employer in writing, and to keep a copy of the letter. This way, if the employer denies you the time off, you have some proof that you asked for it in case you decide to bring legal action against the employer for violating the law.
1 820 ILCS § 180/20(b)
2 820 ILCS § 180/20(c)