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Georgia Has a New Sick Leave Requirement for Certain Employers

A new Georgia law regarding the use of paid sick leave goes into effect on July 1, 2017. The Georgia General Assembly passed SB 201 which provides that, if a Company gives paid sick leave to its employees, eligible employees can now use that paid leave for the care of immediate family members, not just for the employee’s own illness or injury.

Who is Covered

Under O.C.G.A. §34-1-10, an employer that provides paid sick leave as a benefit and employs 25 or more employees is covered by the law. However, this law does not apply if the employer offers its employees an employee stock ownership plan. An “Employee” is an individual who works for salary, wages, or other remuneration for an employer for at least 30 hours per week.

What is Required

Covered employers must permit an employee to use up to 5 days per calendar year of their earned, paid sick leave for the care of an immediate family member. An “immediate family member” includes an employee’s child, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, parent, or any dependents as shown in the employee’s most recent tax return. An employee who uses paid sick leave for the care of an immediate family member is required to comply with all other terms of the employer’s employee sick leave policy, including those related to providing appropriate notice to the employer regarding use of the leave.

What is Not Required

The law does not require an employer to provide paid sick leave at all. This law applies only if the employer chooses to provide paid sick leave to its employees.

If you have any questions about this new law or need help revising your sick leave policy, please contact Jim Demetry or Becky DeCarlo of Demetry DeCarlo at 770-274-4330.

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