Jury Duty Leave

Federal and State Jury Duty Leave Laws and Jury Duty Pay Requirements

As Americans, serving on a jury is one of our civic duties. Accordingly, we, as citizens, will all be called to act as jurors sooner or later. In most cases, we’ll be called to serve as jurors in civil or criminal trials in local, state, or federal court. There is also a chance we may be selected to serve on a state or federal grand jury. For anyone who works, this inevitability leads to important questions about how jury duty affects their employment – whether their employers will allow them to take jury duty leave and whether their employer must provide jury duty pay for the time they are absent.

Effects of federal jury service on employment

Federal jury duty fees and expenses

Payment for federal trial jurors is $50 per day for the first 10 days and $60 per day thereafter. An exception is made for federal government employees, who receive their regular salaries instead.

If called to serve on a federal grand jury, juror pay is $50 dollars per day for the first 45 days and $60 dollars per day after that. The exception noted above also applies to federal employees serving on grand juries.

In addition to these payments, federal trial and grand jurors can usually qualify for reimbursements for reasonable transportation and parking costs. Jurors in both categories may also get extra money for meals and lodging if they have to stay overnight.

Leave and pay for federal jury service

The Jury Act affords employees certain protections. For example, employers cannot fire or intimidate employees who are participating in federal jury service. Employers cannot harass or intimidate employees for the juror’s service, either.

Non-exempt employees

There are no federal laws that require employers to pay non-exempt employees as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for the time they are absent from work to respond to a federal jury summons or serve on a federal jury. However, state laws, as discussed below, may require employers to provide jury duty pay to their employees.

Exempt employees

The FLSA requires employers to pay exempt employees their full salary if they are required to respond to a federal summons or serve on a federal jury. However, the employer may deduct from the exempt employee’s salary any amounts they received as jury fees.

Employer policies

An employer may also have specific policies pertaining to jury duty although they are not required to do so. Employers should consult their direct supervisor or someone in human resources to find out if that’s the case.

Effects of local or state jury duty on employment

Exempt for exempt employees covered by the FLSA, there is no universal law that mandates which if any provisions employers must make for full-time employees or part-time employees summoned for jury duty leave or jury duty pay in a local or state court. Instead, jury duty compensation laws vary from one state to another. For example:

  • the laws in one state may mandate that an employer pay employees their regular wages or their regular salary while they are on jury duty
  • an employer may be able to pay employees on a prorated basis or for a limited number of days of service
  • an employer that is required to pay an employee for jury duty leave may reduce the employee’s jury duty pay by any juror fee received by the employee
  • each state has its own rules governing when an employer may seek to have an employee excused from serving on a jury if a financial hardship would result if the employee served on a jury

Eight (8) states require an employer to pay employees while serving jury duty: Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and Tennessee.

Fifteen (15) states specifically prohibit employers from requiring employees to take paid vacation leave, sick leave, paid time off leave, personal leave, or other types of leave: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.

The bottom line is if an employee works in a state that has jury duty compensation laws, the employer must act in accordance with the law applicable to them. Failure to do so may result in punishments ranging from fines and penalties to jail time.

State labor departments are a useful source of information about relevant jury duty leave laws. You can also find information for your state below.

State-specific pages containing Jury Duty Law Summaries

AlabamaKentuckyNorth Dakota
ColoradoMichiganRhode Island
ConnecticutMinnesotaSouth Carolina
DelawareMississippiSouth Dakota
District of ColumbiaMissouriTennessee
IdahoNew HampshireVirginia
IllinoisNew JerseyWashington
IndianaNew MexicoWest Virginia
IowaNew YorkWisconsin
KansasNorth CarolinaWyoming

Employment Law Updates
Laws change in a moment. Sign up to stay informed.
Employment Law Updates
Laws change in a moment. Sign up to stay informed.

Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!