The Georgia House and Senate have both approved a proposal that would allow employees to use up to five of their allotted sick days, where applicable, to care for an immediate family member who is ill. This includes a child, parent, or any dependent listed on an individual’s tax return.
Georgia does not have a mandate requiring companies to offer sick leave to employees, however, so this would only apply to employers that do offer this benefit. It would also not apply to businesses with fewer than 25 employees nor employers that offer stock ownership plans to workers. To be eligible, employees must work at least 30 hours per week.
Rep. Brian Strickland, who sponsored the bill in the House, said the goal was to show that state policy welcomes companies that are flexible for workers. “You have to be careful, as the government, on mandates you put on small businesses,” he told WABE News Radio. “We’re also not going as far as to dictate how you run your business, so I think it’s more of a policy statement than anything.”
A committee now needs to reconcile any differences between the two versions of the bill before sending it to Gov. Nathan Deal. If it becomes law and the Legislature doesn’t renew the measure in 2020, it would expire.