Senator PetersCHICAGO – A new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) expands the rights of victims and survivors of violent crimes to take unpaid time off work.

“Trauma can often be a life-changing experience, so victims and survivors of violent crimes and their families should be able to deal with that trauma on their own time without having to risk losing their jobs,” Peters said. “Otherwise, we’re creating a situation where a person might experience serious trauma and then suffer loss of livelihood as a result.”

House Bill 3582 extends the Victims Economic and Safety Act, which entitles victims and survivors and families of victims and survivors of domestic, sexual or gender violence to various amounts of unpaid leave from work to deal with the trauma caused by the experience. The new law extends the act to include victims of any other type of violent crime and provides protections against discriminatory acts from employers.

“Trauma should never beget more trauma,” Peters said.

The legislation received bipartisan support from both chambers of the General Assembly. Gov. JB Pritzker signed it into law Friday, and it is effective immediately.