Could Mandated Paid Sick Leave Come to Georgia?

Date: March 01, 2016 Last Edit: March 02, 2016

Bill would mean higher costs and less control for business owners.

Could Mandated Paid Sick Leave Come to Georgia?

Earlier this year, the Georgia House Democratic Caucus announced its legislative priorities for this session, which included mandating paid sick leave. The bill—House Bill 824, The Paid Sick Leave Act—was filed and now awaits action in the House, where it was assigned to the House Industry and Labor Committee.

HB 824 would allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick and family leave for every 30 hours he or she works, totaling up to 56 hours per year. Unused time would roll over into the following year, and employees would be allowed to use the accrued hours for a variety of reasons, including personal sick leave, to care for a family member or child or to undergo preventative medical care.

For small business owners in the Peach State, this would mean higher costs, more administrative work and less control over their own companies. It could also mean they are forced to increase prices, decrease employee benefits or hours and limit business expansion plans in order to meet the financial demand of the new mandate. Furthermore, while current state law does not require employers to provide their employees any paid or unpaid sick or vacation time, many businesses—if not most—do so. But business owners need the freedom to offer the benefits packages that work for their employees and that they can afford.

NFIB opposes mandated sick leave, as do a variety of other business groups, including the Georgia Restaurant Association.

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