JERSEYVILLE - The Jerseyville City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve an ordinance exempting the city from the state’s Paid Leave For All Workers Act, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

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According to the Illinois Department of Labor, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Paid Leave For All Workers Act (SB208) into law in March of 2023. The law entitles all workers in Illinois a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave during a 12-month period. Leave accrues at a rate of one hour of paid leave per 40 hours worked and applies to all workers in Illinois, including municipal employees, with exceptions for certain industries and independent contractors.

Under the new law, employees can take paid leave “for any reason of the employee's choosing” and are not required to provide documentation or a reason for taking the leave. The law also forbids employers from requiring employees to find replacement workers to cover the hours they choose to take their paid leave.

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At the Jerseyville City Council meeting on Tuesday night, Councilman William Strang said the law was meant to apply to employers that didn’t already have a paid leave policy in place, but that he and several other members of the Illinois Municipal League agree that the state should have made an exception for municipalities.

“They did put in the new act that if you have a municipal ordinance that covers paid leave for your employees, that you are exempt from adding another essentially one hour for every 40 hours of work,” Strang said. “In order for us to be exempt from doing this in addition to what we’ve already negotiated with our unions and [nonunion] employees, we have to pass this ordinance that indicates that we already have it.

“This is the one time that we need to adopt an ordinance to exempt it, thanks to the state passing the law without really thinking about it … and that’s not my opinion, that’s everybody in the Municipal League. When they started announcing this, everybody was just shaking their heads.”

City Council members then unanimously passed a motion to approve an ordinance amending Title 1: Administration, Chapter 7: City Officers And Personnel, adding a new section, 1-7-9, exempting the City of Jerseyville from the Paid Leave For All Workers Act.

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