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Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave

Region: Ontario Answer # 1602

Under the Employment Standards Act, eligible workers in Ontario are now entitled to job-protected leave when the employee or their child has experienced or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence. A child includes a step-child, child under legal guardianship or foster child under 18. Under the Act, workers who have been employed for at least 13 consecutive weeks are entitled to up-to 10 individual days and up-to 15 weeks of leave. The first five days each calendar year would be paid, while the rest would be unpaid.

When can leave be taken?

An employee can take domestic or sexual violence leave to:

  • seek medical attention for themselves or their child because of a physical or psychological injury or disability caused by the domestic or sexual violence
  • access services from a victim services organization for themselves or their child
  • have psychological or other professional counselling for themselves or their child
  • seek legal or law enforcement help or support including making a police report or participating in a family court, civil or criminal trial resulting from domestic or sexual violence
  • move.

Employer’s responsibility

Employers must put mechanisms in place that protect the confidentiality of records they receive or produce in relation to an employee taking domestic or sexual violence leave.

Federal employees

Recent changes to the Canada Labour Code now include ten (10) days of leave per year (of which five (5) days are paid) for federal employees who are victims of family violence.

Get help

For more information, review the Guide to the Employment Standards Act. For legal help and assistance, contact an employment lawyer.

A criminal record will appear on an employment police check and will affect your ability to get or keep a job. To erase your criminal record, learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

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