An employer’s obligations with respect to an employee serving on jury duty generally depend on the employer’s size and whether the employer is subject to the Federal Jury System Reform Act of 1978 (the “Jury System Reform Act”). Small employers (i.e., those with less than 101 employees) are not subject to the Jury System Reform Act, but may be subject to state laws governing jury duty leave. In addition, all employers, regardless of size, must comply with court orders requiring them to provide employee information or appear for jury selection.
The following table summarizes an employer’s obligations under the Jury System Reform Act with respect to employees who are summoned for jury duty.
Employer Obligation Requirement
To provide notice to the employee of his or her right to Must provide notice to summoned
unpaid leave and not discriminate or retaliate against employee of right to unpaid leave
the employee for taking such leave. and inform employee that taking
leave will not result in retaliation or discrimination
To make a reasonable effort to accommodate an employee’s If the requested accommodation would
request for a modified work schedule or other accommodation impose an undue hardship on the
so that the employee can fulfill his or her jury service obligations. employer, then the employer is excused from providing it.
An employer who fails to comply with the Jury System Reform Act may be liable for damages, including lost wages and benefits, as well as civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.
What are an employer’s obligations when an employee is summoned for jury duty?
An employer’s obligations when an employee is summoned for jury duty depend on the state in which the employee works. Most states have laws that protect an employee’s job when they are summoned for jury duty, but there are some states where an employer is allowed to fire an employee for missing work due to jury duty. Some employers also have policies in place that provide paid time off or other accommodations for employees who are summoned for jury duty.
How does jury duty affect an employer’s business?
Assuming your state has laws like most others, your employer is not required to give you paid time off for jury duty, but must allow you to take unpaid leave. Some states have laws that prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for taking time off to serve on a jury (e.g., by firing them or demoting them), but other states do not have such laws.
jurors are not obligated to serve on more than one trial per year, your employer may be required to accommodate your schedule if you are selected for multiple trials. For example, if you are selected for two trials that are scheduled to take place at the same time, your employer would likely have to allow you to take leave for one of the trials (assuming you want to serve on both).
In some situations, an employer may be able to get an exemption from having an employee serve on a jury. For example, in many states employers can get an exemption if having the employee serve would cause “undue hardship” on the business. However, the standards for what counts as undue hardship vary from state to state, and even from court to court within a state
What are an employer’s options when an employee is summoned for jury duty?
Most employers are unaware that they have options when an employee is summoned for jury duty. An employer can choose to allow the employee to take time off from work to serve on a jury, or the employer can require the employee to use vacation time, personal time, or unpaid leave. Employers are not required to pay employees for time spent serving on a jury.
From the above discussion, we can conclude that employers have certain obligations when it comes to jury duty. They must provide employees with time off to serve, and they cannot punish employees for serving. Additionally, employers cannot require employees to use vacation time or other paid time off in order to serve on a jury.