ExplorePaid parental leave has arrived in Georgia after years of resistance

The law does not affect private companies, which have a lot of leeway to set their own vacation policy.

While some companies, especially in highly competitive areas like technology and consulting, have been scaling up their parental services in recent years to attract talent, many industries offer little to no paid time off.

The federal law on family and sick leave requires employers to offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but many low-income and hourly workers cannot afford to take that time off. For those who can, there is plenty left to cobble together for vacation days, short-term disabilities, and other vacation days to take time to care for a new child.

Georgia House spokesman David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, who did not attend the event on Wednesday, said he hoped the new state law would “serve as a role model for companies trying to attract and retain the best employees.”

The problem was greatly boosted by Republicans after then-President Donald Trump took up the problem at the urging of his daughter. Ivanka Trump approved an earlier version of the Georgia law in 2020.

Proponents hope to gain momentum after the bill is signed on Wednesday.

“This policy is a down payment to our state’s families and we look forward to working with Georgian businesses, families and lawmakers in future investments in future investments,” said Mindy Binderman, executive director of the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, a nonprofit organization Promote the care and learning of children under 5 years of age.

Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.