HR Alert

Georgia Allows Certain Employees to Use Sick Leave to Care for Immediate Family Members

Law Effective July 1, 2017

A new law in Georgia allows certain employees to use sick leave to care for immediate family members. Highlights of the law are presented below.

Coverage and Definitions
Under the law, an "employer" is generally any individual or entity that employs 25 or more employees. An "employee" is an individual who works for salary, wages, or other remuneration for an employer for at least 30 hours per week.

An "immediate family member" is an employee's child, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, parent, or any dependents as shown on the employee's most recent tax return.

"Sick leave" is time away from work by an employee--due to his or her own incapacity, illness, or injury--for which the employee receives his or her regular salary, wages, or other remuneration. However, "sick leave" does not include paid short-term or long-term disability.

Use of Sick Leave
Under the new law, an employer that provides sick leave generally must allow an employee to use such sick leave for the care of an immediate family member. However, the law does not require an employer to offer sick leave or require an employer to allow an employee to use more than 5 days of earned sick leave per calendar year for the care of an immediate family member.

Additionally, an employee is not entitled to use sick leave under the law until that leave has been earned. Any employee who uses such sick leave must comply with the terms of the employer's employee sick leave policy.

The law is effective July 1, 2017. However, the law is scheduled to be repealed in its entirety on July 1, 2020--unless extended by law. Additional details are contained in the text of the law.

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