Georgia’s “kin care law” went into effect on July 1, 2017. Under this new law, Georgia employers with 25+ employees must permit employees who work 30+ hours per week to use up to five hours of their earned sick leave to take care of immediate family members. “Immediate family member” is defined as the employee’s child, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, parent, or dependents listed on the employee’s most recent tax return.
Several new and expanded paid family leave programs signed into law this month present employers with administrative challenges and concerns about business productivity.
California’s Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) program, which took effect in 2004, was the first of its kind in the nation. Funded by employee contributions to the State Disability Insurance program, and administered through that program, PFL in California provides employees with partial wage replacement (currently 55%, up to a weekly maximum of $1,104 in 2015) for a period of up to six (6) weeks in order to bond with a new child, or to care for a parent, child, spouse or domestic partner with a serious health condition. This wage-replacement program does not guarantee job protection, so normally it is taken concurrently with job-protected leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) or its California analog, the California Family Rights Act.
Earlier this month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved six weeks of fully-paid leave for new parents, the first city-wide legislation of its kind in the nation. Parents are entitled to the benefit if they have been employed by the employer for at least 180 days, work at least eight hours per week within the city or county of San Francisco, spend at least 40% of their hours per week working within the city or county of San Francisco, and are eligible to receive paid family leave from the State of California under the California Paid Family Leave law for the purpose of bonding with a new child. The new law requires that employers make up the difference between the benefit provided by the California Paid Family Leave law and 100% of the employee’s normal gross weekly wage.