Laws in Georgia exist to govern how much workers should be paid and when they should be paid for the time they work. These laws cover a wide range of topics, including when raises are required and whether or not employees are entitled to overtime pay or paid time off. It is critical that employers familiarize themselves with these laws so they are able to remain in compliance with them.
Minimum Wage in Georgia
In Georgia, the minimum wage is $5.15 for every hour worked. This pay rate is lower than the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: In Georgia, no laws exist allowing employers to pay their employees who receive tips as part of their compensation a rate below the minimum wage rate. Since most employers are subject to the requirements outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act, however, they can pay their employees a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour as long as the total amount earned equals the minimum wage.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: All employers in Georgia are required to abide by the state’s minimum wage law, except for those who are subject to the FLSA. This law also does not apply to employers who have less than five employees, employers with annual sales of $40,000 or less, employers of domestic employees and employers who rent land or farm.
When are Raises Required: Under wage and hour laws in Georgia, raises are not a covered topic. In many cases, employers and employees come to an agreement regarding when a raise will be given and how much it will be contingent on factors such as prior work performance and the quality of work produced.
Work Hours in Georgia
No laws exist in Georgia that address how much employees are able to work in any given week and when employees’ time must be credited for the purpose of calculating wages.
Paying Overtime: When employees work more than 40 hours during a seven-week timeframe, they are entitled to an overtime pay rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate. However, employees who work on commission, administrators, police officers, firefighters, caretakers and baby sitters, film workers, and several other types of employees are not entitled to overtime pay.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: There are no laws in Georgia or on a federal level that require employers to provide paid break and meal times to their employees. Under the FLSA, however, employers are required to compensate their workers for short meal and break periods of 30 minutes or less if they choose to provide their employees with this type of benefit.
Paid Time Off and Sick Pay: Employers in Georgia are not required to provide their employees with paid time off or paid sick pay. If they decide to provide these benefits, they must outline them in their policies and abide by them.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: Since Georgia is an “at will” employment state, employers can terminate their employees for any reason or no reason at all. There are still exceptions to this law, however. For instance, employers must have a reason to terminate their employees if an employment contract is in place or if a collective bargaining agreement exists.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: No law in Georgia specifically exists regarding plant closings and layoffs. However, under the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, certain employees still have certain rights. For instance, in the event of a plant closing or a mass layoff, employers must give their workers and the community at least 60 days of notice. Employers covered by WARN include those who have at least 100 employees, as long as these workers have been employed by them for at least six months and work more than 20 hours a week.
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