Georgia Passes Mandatory Sick Leave Preemptive Law
Before paid sick leave laws started gaining momentum in localities across the United States, Georgia was the first state to pass a preemptive sick leave law in 2006. The Georgia law prohibits any local government from passing a local sick leave law requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave and also prohibiting local minimum wage hikes.
As Georgia set the precedence for preemptive laws, its law has been used as a template for other states looking to pass similar laws. The surrounding states of Florida and Alabama both looked at the business friendly law in Georgia and ultimately passed their bills to follow a similarly competitive business environment.
In March 2017, the Georgia House passed Bill SB 201, which requires employers who already offer paid sick leave to allow employees to use that leave to care for family members. Specifically, any family member who is listed on the employee’s tax return as a dependent is covered. Employees can use paid sick leave up to 5 days a year to care for those immediate family members. However, employers who offer more than 5 days of paid sick leave can limit family member care to 5 days each year.
Additionally, another bill, SB 824, that passed the Georgia Legislature in 2016, is currently up for review in the Georgia House of Representatives. SB 824 would mandate paid sick leave for Georgia employees, up to 56 hours a year. This article will be reflected to stay current with any changes in Georgia law.
Currently 20 states have passed preemptive sick leave or minimum wage laws.
The states that have preempted local minimum wage ordinances, but not paid sick leave laws include Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Rhode Island.
Currently 13 states have passed preemptive laws against both minimum wage and sick leave bills on the local level. Those states include Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
Arizona is the only state that has preempted sick leave, but not minimum wage increases.
Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated March 27, 2017