Maternity Leave in GA

Maternity leave in Georgia is mostly dictated by federal regulations. State laws in Georgia do not include provisions for maternity leave that provide benefits beyond those available at the national level.

What is the Length of Medical Leave in Georgia and Who Qualifies?

The standard length of parental medical leave in Georgia is generally about 6 weeks for approximately 50% of workers. The remaining 50% qualify for 12 weeks of leave. In both cases, the leave is unpaid and jobs are protected during the leave.

Paid maternity leave in Georgia is strictly voluntary. Employers in the State of Georgia are not required by law to pay maternity leave or family medical leave of absence but can volunteer to pay for the leave if they wish to do so.

Financial Assistance for Maternity Leave

There are several options for financial assistance for maternity leave:

  • Parents can buy a private temporary disability policy from an insurance company.
  • Personal loans from a private party or financial institution can provide financial relief to pay expenses during maternity or family medical leave.
  • Repayment of personal loans typically includes a monthly payment plan that includes a predetermined interest rate for the loan.
  • Settlement programs can sometimes resolve lingering debt resulting from unpaid maternity or family leave.

Short-Term Disability and Short-Term Delivery Options

If a mother experiences complications during her pregnancy before delivery, a private short-term disability policy can ease financial burdens during that time.

Individual short-term disability maternity leave insurance is also widely available to pay claims while the mother recuperates from standard labor and delivery.

Is Unemployment Compensation an Option?

Unemployment compensation claims are typically denied to parents who take time off for pregnancy and/or maternity related claims because:

  • One or both parents frequently keep working.
  • Unemployment compensation is not available for health-related unemployment.
  • Unemployment benefits are not typically paid when employees voluntarily quit jobs.
  • If a mother is physically and mentally able and available to work, unemployment benefits are generally denied.

Georgia Family Care Act SB 201 (GFCA)

The Georgia Family Care Act SB 201 (GFCA), often referred to as the "Kin Care" law, took effect on July 1, 2017. This law dictates that employers that offer paid sick leave must permit all employees to use this leave privilege for the care of immediate family members, not just for personal injury or illness.

The GFCA pertains to employers with 26 employees or more who work at least 30 hours a week that claim a child, spouse, parent, grandchild, or grandparent as a dependent on their latest tax return.

Federal Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodations Laws

The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) demands that expectant women's rights are protected while seeking employment and while legitimately employed. They must be treated equally with all other employees.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a national directive that requires employers to make practical accommodations for pregnant women who comply with eligibility guidelines.

Georgia Fair Employment Practices (FEP) Act

Public employers with 15 or more employees must comply with the Georgia Fair Employment Practices (FEP) Act. This law demands that the same leave benefits made available to other employees with temporary disabilities be extended to women disabled by pregnancy.

These benefits may be provided with or without pay, or not provided in any way, as long as all employees are treated equitably when they ask for temporary disability leave.

The Georgia FEP Act does not apply to private employers, but these employers may have to meet other requirements to comply with federal law.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The national Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) affects leave requirements for private Georgia employers with 50 plus employees, but employers with under 50 employees can offer paid leave or not, using their own judgment.

FMLA Coverage Requirements

FMLA coverage applies to employees who have worked for the company for a minimum of one year. The employee must have worked for a minimum of 1,250 hours during the prior year and must be employed at a company location with a minimum of 50 employees working within a 75-mile radius of the physical location.

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