Employees’ Rights for Jury Duty Leave
Employees’ Rights for Jury Duty Leave

Employees’ Rights for Jury Duty Leave

Jury duty is foundational to our country’s judicial system. So, whether you’re in the, “Oh, no, I’ve got jury duty!” or the, “Awesome, I’ve got jury duty!” camp, as an employer, it’s important to understand the law.

Your Responsibilities as an Employer Seem Clear

Federal law does not require you to provide your employees leave for jury duty service nor does it provide for a specified period of leave, compensation or benefits.

But it Gets Complicated

Many states and municipalities prohibit employers from docking pay or paid time off when an employee is serving on a jury. Most of them also prohibit employers from firing or penalizing an employee for serving jury duty. And some states require you to pay an employee for time not worked as a result of jury duty. Depending on your state, you may not be required to pay, but you are required to allow an employee to take time off.

The Jury Duty Process

During the process, an employee who has been summoned for jury duty will either be selected to serve on a jury or dismissed. If dismissed fairly early in the day, you should expect the employee to come to work for the rest of the day. In more complex cases, an employee could be serving on a jury for a case that goes on for months; they can even be sequestered (required to stay in a hotel with no outside contact). Your jury duty policy should take all of these factors into consideration.

State Employment Laws for Jury Duty

Most states have no laws on the books regarding jury duty pay and time off, but a handful do. So, if you have operations in any of the states listed below, it’s important to pay attention to these jury duty employee rights.

Eight states and one territory require an employer to pay employees who are called to serve on jury duty:

  • Alabama: Full pay for full-time employees.
  • Colorado: Up to $50 per day for the first three days.
  • Connecticut: Private employers – full pay for full-time employees for the first five days. Public employers – up to $50 per day after five days.
  • District of Columbia: Full pay for full-time employees for the first five days.
  • Louisiana: Full pay for full-time employees for the first day.
  • Massachusetts: Private employers – full pay for full-time employees for the first three days. Public employers – up to $50 per day after three days.
  • Nebraska: Full pay for all employees.
  • New York: Employers with 10 or fewer employees can withhold pay of an employee out for jury duty. Employers with 10+ employees must pay the first $40 of an employee’s daily wage for the first three days of jury duty. The state will pay $40 a day for a juror’s service for days that the employer does not.
  • Tennessee: Employers with 5 or more employees – full pay for all employees employed for at least six months.

Fifteen states explicitly bar an employer from requiring employees to use paid vacation, sick, personal or other types of leave due to jury duty summons:

  • Alabama: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty. Employers with 10 or fewer employees can request court to postpone jury duty if two or more employees will be absent on the same day.
  • Arizona: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Arkansas: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Indiana: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty. Employers with 10 or fewer employees can request court to postpone jury duty if two or more employees will be absent on the same day.
  • Louisiana: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Mississippi: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Missouri: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Nebraska: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty as long as employees have given reasonable notice.
  • Nevada: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty. They also can’t require employees to work within eight hours of the time they’re supposed to report for jury duty. Additionally, employees can’t be required to work between 5:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. on the day of jury duty if jury has lasted for four hours or more, including travel time to and from court.
  • New Mexico: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Ohio: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Oklahoma: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Utah: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Vermont: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty.
  • Virginia: Employers can’t require employees to use any type of leave time for jury duty as long as employees have given reasonable notice. Additionally, employees can’t be required to work between 5:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. on the day of jury duty if jury has lasted for four hours or more, including travel time to and from court.

Sample Jury Duty Policy for Companies that Offer Paid Time Off

[COMPANY NAME] supports employees who are summoned to serve on state or federal jury duty. [COMPANY NAME] provides paid time off for both full- and part-time employees who are called for jury duty to help ensure you’re not financially penalized for honoring your civic duty. To receive pay when you’re called for jury duty, you must follow these guidelines:
  • Notify your manager as soon as you receive a jury duty summons. Be prepared to provide a copy of the summons.
  • Full-time exempt employees will be paid their regular rate of pay for all days served.
  • Part-time or hourly employees will be paid the difference between their regular pay rate and what they’re paid for serving.
If you work non-standard hours, please work with your manager to plan time off to ensure your schedule doesn’t land before or after jury duty.

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