Georgia Unemployment Compensation laws & HR compliance analysis

Georgia Unemployment Compensation: What you need to know

Virtually all employers are covered by Georgia’s Employment Security Law (GA Code Sec. 34-8-1 et seq.) and are therefore subject to the state unemployment insurance tax. For example, the law's coverage extends to employers that:
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• In either the current or preceding calendar year, paid wages of $1,500 or more in any quarter or employed at least one person for some portion of a day in each of 20 different weeks;
• In the case of nonprofit organizations, employed four or more persons for some portion of a day in each of 20 different weeks in either the current or preceding calendar year;
• Bought the business of a covered employer;
• Are covered by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA);
• Employed 10 or more people in agricultural labor in each of 20 weeks during the current or preceding calendar year or paid $20,000 for agricultural labor in any quarter;
• Paid at least $1,000 in any quarter for domestic work; and
• Elected to be covered, with approval by the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) (GA Code Sec. 34-8-33).
The law excludes certain services from coverage, including, for example, services performed by:
• Students working for schools, colleges, or universities;
• Students working for work-study programs;
• Real estate and insurance salespersons;
• Student nurses;
• Hospital interns;
• Newspaper distributors who are minors;
• Casual laborers; and
• Elected officials, members of the judiciary, or policymakers who work no more than 8 hours per week (Ga. Code Ann. Sec. 34-8-35).
Taxable wage base. The taxable wage base is determined each year. For the current taxable wage base, visit The term “wages” ...

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