Georgia Enacts a Much-Modified Paid Sick Leave Law

By Hilary Atkins posted 06-06-2017 01:44 PM


An ongoing hot topic these days in the employment world is family and medical leave laws. In addition to the federal level, many states have pushed to enact extended and more comprehensive family and sick leave requirements for the private sector workforce.

Georgia has never mandated that private sector employers provide sick leave to employees – until now. Enter SB 201. However, unlike other jurisdictions now imposing mandatory sick leave, Georgia’s law only applies to employers who already offer paid sick leave benefits to their employees. Further, the law only applies to private employers that employ more than 25 employees.

The new law, generally referred to as a “kin care law”, requires that an employer who provides paid sick leave must allow an employee to use up to five days of that leave to care for an immediate family member. The law defines an “immediate family member” as an employee’s child, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, parent, or other dependent shown on the employee’s tax return.

Sick leave does not include either short- or long-term disability. And, an employee must work at least 30 hours per week to qualify.

Employers operating in Georgia should review their existing policies to ensure they fully comply with the new law, but as set forth above, if they do not currently offer sick leave to their employees, they are not required to provide sick leave under SB 201.