4 Things You Need To Know About Georgia’s New Kin Care Law

Georgia legislators recently passed a new kin care law [S.B. 201, L.2017] that allows eligible employees to use up to five paid sick leave days per calendar year to care for immediate family members. Under the new law, immediate family members include children, spouses, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and any person identified on the employee’s most recent tax return.

What is the Georgia Kin Care Law?

Signed into law on May 8, 2017, the new Georgia Kin Care Law required employers that currently offer or plan on soon offering paid sick leave to employees to extend the benefit to include the care of immediate family members.

The new kin care law allows qualifying employees will be entitled to use to up five days of paid sick leave (PSL) per year to care for immediate family members.

Who Does the New Georgia Kin Care Law Affect?

Who does the Georgia Kin Care law affectUnder the new law, any employer with over 25 employees who work at least 30 hours a week will be required to extend their paid sick leave policies to include immediate family members. The new kin care law does not apply to employees who work less than 30 hours and employers with less than 25 employees.

It is important to note the new law still requires employees to use their sick leave in accordance with the terms and policies set by their employer. Also, employees are only entitled to use accrued sick leave under the kin care law.

Note, this law does not affect employers who do not currently offer paid sick leave to their employees. Nor does it require employers to begin offering paid sick leave to employees, or implement a new set amount of leave. Also, the law only requires employers to allow up to five paid sick days per calendar year to be applied to the care of an immediate family member.

Who Classifies As Immediate Family?

According to the Georgia kin care law, immediate family members are defined as:

  • Child(ren)
  • Spouse
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Any person identified on the employee’s most recent tax return

How To Prepare For The New Georgia Kin Care Law

The new Georgia kin care law will take effect on July 1, 2017. If you are an employer who is affected by this change, we recommend you start preparing by evaluating your company’s current paid sick leave policy to ensure you are compliant with the new regulations. You should also consider ensuring your management staff is aware of the changes, including what is considered an immediate family member.

Employers should also consider any implications that may arise under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the responsibilities that may arise when an employee is required or requests paid leave to care for a family member.