Other Leaves: Georgia
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: C.R. Wright, Fisher Phillips
- There are various types of leave that may be available to an employee in Georgia. See Leaves of Absence.
- Georgia does not have a state family and medical leave law applicable to private employers. See Family and Medical Leave.
- An employer with 25 or more employees that provides sick leave must allow employees to use up to five days per year to care for an immediate family member. See Kin Care Leave.
- A Georgia employer must excuse employees from work to attend judicial proceedings in response to a subpoena, summons for jury duty or other court order. See Jury Duty Leave.
- An employer must provide qualified and registered employees with up to two hours off from work to vote. See Voting Leave.
Leaves of Absence
There are various types of leave that may be available to an employee in Georgia. To the extent that applicable federal, state or local laws conflict, an employer should apply the provisions that provide the greatest benefits and protections to the employee.
An employer should remain alert to the various types of leave available and take care to track employees' leaves of absence, including:
- The date the leave begins;
- The type of leave; and
- The expected return date.
An employee who exercises leave rights is not protected from discipline for legitimate reasons that are unrelated to the leave and that are not otherwise prohibited by law.
If an employer must discipline an employee who has exercised his or her leave rights, it should carefully document the reasons for the discipline, review past application of the rule (to ensure the policy is being enforced evenhandedly), and consider whether to seek the advice of counsel before imposing the discipline.
Family and Medical Leave
Georgia does not have a state family and medical leave law applicable to private employers. However, a Georgia employer with 50 or more employees is likely required to adhere to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Kin Care Leave
An employer with 25 or more employees must allow employees to use up to five sick leave days per calendar year to care for an immediate family member. The law does not require an employer to provide sick leave if it does not already do so, but if it does provide sick leave to employees, then it must comply with the law. For more information on kin care leave, please see FMLA: Georgia.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer must excuse employees from work to attend judicial proceedings in response to a subpoena, summons for jury duty or other court order. This requirement does not apply to an employee charged with a crime. For more information on jury duty leave, please see Jury Duty: Georgia.
An employer has a duty to reinstate an eligible employee who takes a military leave of absence. For more information on military leave, please see USERRA: Georgia.
An employer must provide qualified and registered employees with up to two hours off from work, to vote in any municipal, county, state or federal political party primary or election. This law is not applicable if the employee begins work more than two hours after the opening of the polls or leaves work more than two hours before the polls close. An employer may specify the particular hours that an employee can be absent.
An employee must provide an employer with reasonable notice of his or her intent to vote.
An employer should consider including a voting leave policy in its handbook to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of time off for voting and to show its compliance with Georgia law.
Employers should be aware that certain leaves are protected by state law and therefore it should train its supervisory employees not to take action against an employee because he or she took leave or indicated that he or she may take the leave in the near future. See Training and Development: Federal.
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