Georgia Labor Laws

Georgia Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

Georgia labor laws are designed to ensure employees get paid what they are legally owed and are protected from illegal actions.

  • Are you struggling to understand Georgia’s complex state laws regarding employment?
  • Do you have questions about your rights and obligations under Georgia labor laws?
  • Are you unsure about the legalities surrounding employment contracts and time-off policies in the state?

From understanding the importance of a regular rate of pay and the rights of non-exempt employees to workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance, this article will aim to cover a range of concerns.

This article is for:

  • Georgia employers seeking clarity on their legal responsibilities and obligations.
  • Employees in the state of Georgia wanting to understand their rights under employment law.
  • Private employers and public employers alike looking to ensure compliance with Georgia labor laws.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Georgia labor laws.

Georgia Wage Laws

Minimum Wage Law

Georgia’s minimum wage situation is a bit more nuanced than a simple hourly rate.

While the state itself has a minimum wage set at $5.15 per hour, this is largely superseded by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

This means that most employers in Georgia are required to pay their workers at least the federal minimum wage.

There are some limited exceptions to this rule, such as employers with very low annual sales or those who employ close family members.

However, these exceptions are narrow, and most Georgia workers will be entitled to the federal minimum wage.

For the latest information on Georgia’s minimum wage law, exemptions, and potential local variations in some cities, you can consult the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) website.

FLSA Coverage

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, and other workplace standards.

Thankfully, for most Georgia employees, the FLSA applies. This means they are guaranteed certain protections, including the minimum wage mentioned previously.

However, it’s important to note that the FLSA also outlines specific exemptions for certain professions.

These exemptions typically apply to salaried workers in executive, administrative, or professional roles who meet certain criteria.

Georgia Payment Laws

Pay Frequency

Georgia state law doesn’t dictate specific paydays for employees. However, this doesn’t mean employers can be unpredictable with their payroll schedule.

Once an employer establishes a pay schedule, be it weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, they are legally obligated to adhere to it.

This ensures employees receive their wages consistently and on time.

Georgia Overtime Laws

Overtime Threshold

The concept of overtime pay kicks in when employees work more than a standard workweek.

In Georgia, as dictated by the FLSA, any hours worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek qualify for overtime pay.

This overtime pay must be at a rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

There are, however, exemptions to this overtime requirement for certain professions as outlined by the FLSA.

Workweek Defined

An important aspect of overtime pay is understanding what constitutes a workweek.

The FLSA defines a workweek as any consecutive seven-day period, not necessarily Monday through Sunday.

This means that depending on your employer’s established workweek schedule, overtime calculations might function differently.

Recordkeeping

The responsibility for keeping accurate records of employee hours worked falls on the employer’s shoulders.

These records are crucial for ensuring proper payment of wages and overtime, especially when dealing with employees who may work variable schedules or have overtime hours.

Georgia Break Laws

No Mandatory Breaks

Neither federal law nor Georgia state law mandates that employers provide rest or meal breaks for their employees.

This means it’s ultimately at the employer’s discretion whether to offer breaks and, if so, how long they should be.

However, many employers recognize the value of breaks in promoting employee well-being and productivity, and therefore choose to incorporate them into the workday.

Off-Duty Meal Periods

There’s a distinction between breaks and meal periods under the FLSA.

If a designated meal period lasts for 30 minutes or longer and the employee is truly relieved of work duties during that time, they typically won’t be compensated for it.

This allows for uninterrupted time for the employee to eat and recharge.

Georgia Leave Requirements

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

This federal law applies to certain employers and grants eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family or medical reasons.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that applies to certain employers with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

This law provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualified family or medical reasons.

It’s important to note that eligibility requirements and specific details of the FMLA are quite intricate, so consulting the Department of Labor’s website is recommended for a deeper understanding.

Sick Leave

Georgia doesn’t have a law mandating paid sick leave for employees.

This means that the availability of paid sick leave depends entirely on the employer’s policies.

Some companies offer sick leave as a benefit, while others do not.

Additionally, some local ordinances within Georgia might mandate paid sick leave, so depending on your location, there could be additional regulations.

Jury Duty & Bereavement Leave

There are a couple of exceptions where Georgia law does require employers to grant unpaid leave to their employees.

The first is for jury duty.

If an employee is summoned for jury duty, they are entitled to take unpaid leave from work to fulfill their civic obligation.

Georgia law mandates employers to grant unpaid leave for immediate family bereavements.

This allows employees time to grieve and attend to necessary arrangements following the loss of a close family member.

Child Labor Laws In Georgia

Minimum Age

Children under 14 years of age cannot be employed, except in agriculture with parental consent.

School Hours

Work during school hours is generally prohibited for minors under 16, with limitations on work hours outside school.

Hazardous Work

Minors are prohibited from engaging in hazardous occupations as defined by the FLSA and Georgia Code.

Georgia Hiring Laws

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and other federal laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.

Occupational Safety In Georgia

OSHA Coverage

Employers must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards to ensure workplace safety.

Reporting Injuries

Work-related injuries and illnesses must be reported to OSHA under certain circumstances.

Employee Rights

Employees have the right to report unsafe working conditions and refuse hazardous tasks without fear of retaliation.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Georgia labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Georgia, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

US States

Need Help With Payroll?
Taxes filed for you, automatically.

Let Buddy Punch handle your payroll

Run payroll, pay employees & contractors, all in a few clicks.

Quickly pay your team, no matter where they are,