Georgia’s New Kin Care Law

Effective July 1, 2017, large employers in Georgia who offer sick leave to their employees must allow their employees to use sick time to care for an immediate family member.

The new law applies to employers with 25 or more employees. These large employers who currently offer employees paid sick leave (or begin to do so in the future) must allow employees who work at least 30 hours per week to use up to 5 days of paid sick leave per year for the care of an immediate family member.

For the purposes of the kin care law, an immediate family member includes the employee’s spouse, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, or anyone identified as a dependent on the employee’s most recent tax return.

It’s worth stating again that this law only applies to employers who ALREADY provide paid sick leave to their employees or who begin providing paid sick leave in the future. The law does not require that employers who do not currently provide paid sick leave begin to do so now.

Employees using paid sick leave to care for an immediate family member are still subject to the terms of the employer’s sick leave policy including notification and documentation requirements. Employees will accrue paid sick leave based on the employer’s policy and must only be allowed to use the paid sick leave to care for an immediate family member when the employee has already accrued enough paid sick leave to cover the absence.

Large employers in Georgia who currently provide their employees with paid sick leave should review their existing policy to ensure compliance with the new rule prior to July 1, 2017.