Taking effect July 1, 2017, Georgia’s new Family Care Act (“the Act”) requires employers with 25 or more employees to allow their employees to use earned and available sick leave to take care of immediate family members, including: spouses, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and any other dependent listed on the employee’s latest tax return. It is important for both employees and employers to note the various caveats engrained in the Act:
- Employees wishing to take advantage of the benefits under the Act must work at least 30 hours per week;
- Employers are not required under the Act to offer sick leave;
- Employers are not required under the Act to allow an employee to use more than five (5) days of sick leave per calendar year to care for an immediate family member;
- The Act will be repealed in its entirety on July 1, 2020 (unless extended by the General Assembly); and
- The Act does not create a new cause of action against an employer.
What Does This Mean for Employees?
Employees can use at least five (5) days of earned and available sick leave to care for immediate family members. However, employees must still comply with their employer’s sick leave policy.
What Does This Mean for Employers?
Employers should comply with the Act. Furthermore, employers should update their sick leave policy to reflect the requirements under the Act.