DECATUR, ILL. (WAND) - On Monday, Governor JB Pritzker signed the Paid Leave for All Workers Act into law. The law guarantees all full-time and part-time employees in Illinois a minimum of 40 hours paid time off.

Lieutenant Governor, Juliana Stratton, said this law is needed for working people in the state.

"There are far too many Illinoisans who are put between a rock and a hard place. When life happens, and life does happen to all of us, too many feel like they have to choose between their job and their loved ones. And honestly, that is a false choice," said Stratton.

While many employees are excited for the change, some small business owners are concerned, like Garden Family Restaurant in Decatur. The eatery has been serving the area for over 14 years. Lavdrime Islamoski, owner of Garden Family Restaurant, described the relationship with the community as very close.

"Sometimes on holidays and occasions like that, we are all they have. So, they'll come in here and eat with us," said Islamoski.

The restaurant is one of many small businesses dealing with staff shortages. Islamoski said they are still searching for workers. After hearing about the new law going into effect next year, they're worried about the steps they might have to take.

"First I think that we would have to fire some people, unfortunately," said Islamoski.

Pritzker signs Illinois Paid Leave

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs into law the Paid Leave For All Workers Act on Monday, March 13, 2023, in Chicago. Illinois became one of three U.S. states to require employers to offer paid time off for any reason starting in January of 2024. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Islamoski told WAND this guaranteed time off will make it harder for owners to operate business. She is hoping to see some changes made to the law to help small businesses in the state.

"In hindsight, this might sound great. But once you get into the inner working of everything, like the amount of people, vacation. It just seems harder to do than say," said Islamoski.

The law goes into effect on January 1st, 2024. To read it in full detail, visit here.

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