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Last updated on: April 17th, 2024

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

Employees working in Georgia are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.


Normal working hours shall not exceed more than 40 hours a week. The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours comprised of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that do not need to coincide with the calendar week. It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent. Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged.


Recordkeeping Requirement – Each employer shall maintain and preserve records for not less than 4 years after the calendar year in which the remuneration for such services was paid or if not paid, was due. The employing unit shall maintain the following information:
    • Name;
    • Social Security Number;
    • State or states in which the services are performed; and if any of such services are performed outside this state and are not incidental to the service within the state, the employee’s base of operations and the employee’s residence (by state);
    • The date on which the individual was hired, rehired, or returned to work after a temporary layoff, and date separated from work and the reason therefor;
    • Remuneration paid for services and date of payment, showing separately:
    • Amounts paid to the individual as allowance of reimbursement for traveling or other business expenses, dates of payment, amounts of payment, and amounts of such expenditures actually incurred and accounted for by the individual.


Any work performed beyond  40 hours in a work week is considered overtime work.

Pay – An employee is entitled to premium pay at the rate of 1.5 times their regular rate for all hours worked excess in a workweek.


Hours worked ordinarily include all the time during which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed workplace. There is no limit on the number of hours employees 16 years of age or older may work in any workweek. 


Employers are not legally required to provide breaks or meal periods to their employees under either the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or Georgia law. It’s common for employers to provide short breaks lasting from 5 to 20 minutes. According to the FLSA, employees must be compensated during short breaks, but employers aren’t obligated to pay for meal periods lasting 30 minutes or more, provided that employees are free to use this time as they wish and aren’t required to work during it.

Under the FLSA, an employee who takes a break that is 20 minutes or less must be paid for their break time at their normal rate. This includes meal, religious, health, and most likely restroom breaks as long as the break is under 20 minutes. An employer does not have to pay an employee for a break if: 1) the break is longer than 20 minutes; and 2) the employee is relieved of all work during the break. No Penalty for Missing Break as per law.

Public Holidays

Georgia law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Georgia, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. If an employer chooses to provide paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with its established policy or employment contract terms.

Annual Leave

In Georgia, employers are not required to provide employees with paid or unpaid annual leave benefits. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued annual leave upon separation from employment.

Special Leave

Sick and Safe Leave

Duration of Leave: An employee is entitled to paid 5 working days of leave per calendar year to take care of an immediate family member.


Eligibility Criteria- Employees who work for salaries, wages, or other remuneration for at least 30 hours per week are eligible to use sick leave for the care of an immediate family member.


The law applies to employers with 25 or more employees, as well as to state government employees. Importantly, the law applies only to employers that already provide paid sick leave in addition to short-term or long-term disability plans.


“Immediate family member” is defined to include the employee’s child, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, parent or any dependents on the employee’s most recent tax return.


Employees must comply with the terms of the employer’s sick leave policy.


Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to the main United States page for further details on this Federal law.

Jury Duty Leave
Employees are entitled to unpaid leave to attend a judicial proceeding in response to a subpoena, a summons for jury duty, or any other court order.

Employers may not discharge, discipline or otherwise penalize (or threaten to penalize) an employee for taking leave to attend a judicial proceeding in response to a subpoena, a summons for jury duty, or any other court order.
This protection does not apply to employees who are charged with a crime. Employees are required to provide their employees reasonable notice of the absence or delay in reporting to work to attend the judicial proceeding.
Georgia’s jury duty and court attendance leave law do not require leave to be paid. However, an Attorney General’s Opinion from 1989 states that an employee is entitled to be paid his or her salary while missing work to serve on a jury. (Op. Atty Gen’l No. 89-55).
Military Leave
An employee in Georgia is entitled to unpaid military leave. Georgia law extends reemployment rights to both state and U.S. military service members in addition to the protections offered by USERRA. When an employee returns from military service, their employer is obligated to reinstate them to their former position or a comparable one in terms of seniority, status, and pay, without any loss of benefits. However, if circumstances have changed for the employer, making reinstatement impossible or unreasonable, reemployment may not be required. These rights typically apply to employees leaving a non-temporary position to fulfill state or U.S. military service, provided they are still qualified for the job upon return. The employees must apply for reemployment within 90 days of completing military service, except in cases of annual training or service school attendance, where the application window is 10 days. Additionally, employees must provide their employers with a certificate of completion of military service from an appropriate military officer. Once reinstated, these employees are considered to have been on furlough and cannot be terminated without cause within one year of their return.
Voting Leave

An employee is entitled to time off not exceeding 2 hours to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election. Employers must grant their employees reasonable time off to vote. Georgia law does not mandate employers to compensate employees for this voting leave.


The time off can be taken either on designated advance in-person voting days or on the day of the primary or election. Employers have the discretion to specify the hours during which the employee can be absent. Ga. Code Ann., § 21-2-404.


Donor Leave

State employees are allowed up to 30 days of paid leave for organ donation. (§45-20-31).

Disclaimer: The material provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. We endeavor to keep all material up-to-date and correct but make no representations about the information's completeness, accuracy, or reliability. Laws vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change and interpretation based on individual factors that may differ between organizations. The material is not meant to constitute legal advice and we suggest you seek the advice of legal counsel in connection with any of the information presented.