There is no Georgia law that requires private employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid sick leave, although many employers do grant it as an important employee benefit.
It is important to remember, however, that if sick leave is promised, an employer may create a legal obligation to grant it. Employers should regularly review statements made in handbooks or elsewhere to ensure that they accurately reflect current policies. If changes are necessary, the policy should be revised and employees notified of the changes.
Under Georgia law, full-time public employees compensated on a semimonthly basis earn 5 hours of sick leave at the end of each pay period.
Full-time public employees compensated on a monthly basis earn 10 hours of sick leave at the end of each pay period. Part-time employees who work 20 hours or more per week earn sick leave on a prorated basis.
Sick leave is cumulative for up to 720 hours; leave beyond 720 hours at the end of any month is forfeited, but may be restored to the employee in the case of a serious disability or illness that exhausts available sick leave time (GA Comp. R. and Regs. Sec. 478-1-.18 PAR. 18.301 et seq.).
Georgia sets specific requirements for the use of sick leave and maternity leave by public school teachers and other school personnel. (GA Code Sec. 20-2-850 et seq.).
The term “personnel” includes each person employed in the public school system in the capacity of student services support personnel or administrative and supervisory personnel.
Accrual and use. Sick leave may be taken for illness or injury, or for illness or death in the immediate family (the term “immediate family” is not defined).