Time off for domestic violence sexual assault or stalking
Last updated: September 22, 2023
This webpage applies to all staff, student employees and academic personnel.
You may take reasonable time off as a single block of time, on an intermittent basis, or on a reduced schedule to seek help if you or your family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Reasons for time off
You may take this type of time off for any of the following reasons, when related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking:
- To seek legal or law enforcement assistance to ensure your personal safety or the safety of your family members
- To seek treatment by a health-care provider for your physical or mental injuries or to attend the health-care treatment of a family member
- To obtain, or assist a family member to obtain, mental health counseling
- To obtain, or assist a family member to obtain, services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other social service program
- To participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase your or your family members’ safety from future domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
Definition of family member
For the purpose of this leave, family member is defined as:
- Your spouse or domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother
- The child, parent, or grandparent of your spouse or domestic partner
- A person with whom you have a dating relationship
Requesting time off
You must give advance notice that you intend to take time off. Follow your department’s usual request procedures.
If you cannot provide advance notice because of emergency or unforeseen circumstances caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, then you or your designee must give notice no later than the end of the first day of absence.
Provide the following information with your notice:
- How much time you expect to be off work (be as specific as you can about dates)
- What type of paid time off (sick, vacation, etc.) you wish to use, if any
- What type of schedule you need and for how long, if you are requesting a reduced schedule
- How your manager can communicate with you during your absence
- Whether you need an alternate arrangement for receiving paychecks
Verification of need
To process your leave request, HR Operations may request verification that you or your family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and that your absence was for one of the reasons described above.
You may provide, in a timely manner, any of the following documents as proof:
- Police report confirming that you or your family member was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- Court order protecting or separating you or your family member from the perpetrator
- Evidence from the court or the prosecuting attorney demonstrating that you or your family member appeared, or is scheduled to appear, in court in connection with an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- Documentation from an attorney, victim advocate, member of the clergy, or a medical or other professional stating that you or your family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- Statement written by you explaining that you or your family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and in need of assistance
If the victim is your family member, we may also request proof of family relationship. You may provide any of the following:
- Written statement from you
- Birth certificate
- Court document
- Other similar documentation
You may choose whether to take your absence as paid, unpaid, or a combination of paid and unpaid time. To be paid, you may use your sick time off or other paid time off. You may also use compensatory time, discretionary time off or holiday credit, if available.
Additionally, time off accruing staff may qualify for shared leave if they have exhausted their own paid time off balances. See Shared Leave for additional information.
Job and health insurance protection
After your leave is over, you will return to your same position or to an equivalent position, unless you were hired for a specific time period, or hired to perform work only on a discrete project and that time period or project has ended.
Your health insurance coverage, if applicable, continues during your absence.
We protect the confidentiality of all information you provide related to time off for domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. We disclose this information only if:
- Requested or consented to by you
- Ordered by a court or administrative agency
- Required by federal or state law
We do not retaliate against any employee for seeking or taking time off related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Visit the UW’s policy on workplace violence if you:
- Are concerned about the potential of violence at work
- Have a court order for victim protection, with a UW location as a protected area
We also urge you to contact SafeCampus for assistance in safety planning.
For assistance with the above, contact your unit’s Human Resources Consultant or a confidential advocate.
APS 46.8 Domestic Violence in the Workplace and Reasonable Accommodations and Leave Related to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking