3. Find out about domestic or sexual violence leave

What if I need more than a few days off because a family member is sick or for some other crisis?
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3. Find out about domestic or sexual violence leave

You may be able to take a leave if you or your child, who is under 18 years of age, has:

  • experienced domestic or sexual violence
  • been threatened with domestic or sexual violence

Your child includes a stepchild, foster child, and a child you’re the legal guardian of.

To get domestic or sexual violence leave, you must have worked for your employer for at least 13 weeks in a row.

Length of the leave

Each calendar year, you may be able to take:

  • up to 10 days, and
  • up to 15 weeks.

Your employer can count part of a day that you take off as a full day and part of a week out of the 15 weeks as a full week.

A calendar year means between January 1 and December 31. But you can take the full domestic or sexual violence leave even if you started working for your employer partway through the year.

Reasons you can get domestic or sexual violence leave

You can take domestic or sexual violence leave only for the following reasons:

  • to get medical care because of an injury or disability caused by the violence
  • to get help from what’s called a victim services organization
  • to get psychological or other professional counselling
  • to move, permanently or for a short time
  • to deal with the police or the legal system because of the violence

Getting paid

If you take part of a day off as domestic or sexual violence leave, your employer has to pay you your wages for the hours you worked.

And the Employment Standards Act says that you have the right to be paid for the first 5 days of domestic or sexual violence leave each year.

Proving that you need to take a leave

Your employer can require you to prove that you need domestic or sexual violence leave. But they can only require you to give proof that’s “reasonable in the circumstances”.

What’s reasonable to have to show your employer depends on your situation, for example:

  • why you need the leave
  • how long you need the leave to be
  • any past leaves you’ve had or periods you’ve been away from work
  • whether you can get proof of why you need the leave
  • how much it would cost to get proof

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Ontario Ministry of Labour
Reviewed: January 1, 2019

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