On July 1, 2023, new Georgia law (GA S 129) comes into effect that grants employees time off to prevote in primary and general elections. This new measure amends the existing law, including providing for early voting time off for employees and revising the provisions on election day time off for employees to vote. Employees in Georgia may take two hours off on Election Day or any of the days designated for in-person early voting. Likewise, employees in Georgia can take two hours off regardless of whether polling stations are open two hours before or after the end of a work shift. It is not necessary to time off for voting; that is up to the employer. As a practical matter, employees must adequately inform their employer that they must take time off work to vote.
The Georgia Legislature also recently, with the approval of Governor Brian Kemp, voted to repeal the forfeiture provision relating to the taking of sick leave for the care of immediate family members (including spouse, child, parent, grandparent and grandchild or other dependent as illustrated). in the employee’s most recent tax return), effective May 1, 2023. (GA S 61) This statutory measure on limited sick leave was originally enacted in 2017 and provides that if a private employer elects to do so, its employees are entitled to paid sick leave The employer must allow the employee to use up to five days of sick leave to care for family members. This provision does not oblige employers to provide sick leave and does not require an employer to permit an employee to use more than five days of earned sick leave per calendar year to care for an immediate family member.