Georgia’s New Sick Leave Law: Immediate Family Member Care Included

By Kelsey Basten

Published on May 23, 2017

A new sick leave law in Georgia does not require employers to provide sick leave, but rather entitles employees to use their earned leave time to care for immediate family members.

The new law takes effect on July 1, 2017. Under the state law, employees will be able to use up to five days of their sick leave per year to care for their immediate family members. This includes children, spouses, grandchildren, grandparents, parents or dependents who appear on the employee’s most recent tax return.

Also, this law is applicable to all employees who work over 30 hours per week.

An important detail to note regarding this law is employees are not allowed to take more sick leave than they already have earned. If the employee has not accrued and earned the sufficient leave time, he/she cannot rely on this law to receive another set of leave time.

All employees must adhere to their existing company sick leave policy alongside this new law, as well.

In summary, the new state law prohibits employers from having a sick leave policy that states the sick leave can only be used for the employee’s own illness and not to care for others.

There are some exceptions to this law, however. Businesses with less than 25 employees, or any business offering an employee stock ownership plan are not required to adhere to the law.

The law has an expiration date of three years and will be extended pending legislature approval.

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