Could I lose my job over jury duty?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | employee rights, in Employment |

Jury duty service is a fundamental part of the American legal system. Those accused of crimes have a right to ask for a jury to hear their cases. Other types of cases also allow for the option to have peers hear the matter rather than a judge.

Because of the importance of jury duty, employees have protection under the law that prevents employers from stopping or punishing them when they serve.

A protected right

When a court calls individuals for jury duty, their employers must allow them time off to serve. It is illegal for an employer to threaten an employee with termination or take any adverse action against them.

They also cannot deny workers’ requests for time off for jury duty.  Employers who retaliate against employees for serving may be subject to fines and other penalties.

Jury duty payment

Employers do not have to pay workers when they are serving jury duty. Employees may opt to take paid time off or vacation time if their employer allows. However, employers cannot require them to use their paid time off or vacation for jury duty.

The state will pay individuals who serve more than one day. Starting on day two of service, they will receive $15 per day and a mileage or transportation reimbursement.

It is important for employees to notify their employers as soon as they receive a jury duty summons to allow the employer to make necessary arrangements to cover their absence. Employers may require employees to provide proof of their jury duty summons, such as a copy of the summons or a certificate of attendance from the court.