Federal and State Jury Duty Leave Laws
As Americans, serving on a jury is one of our civic duties. Accordingly, we will all be called to act as jurors sooner or later. In most cases, we’ll be called on serve as jurors in civil or criminal trials in local, state or federal court. There is also a chance that 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.
Effects of federal jury service on employment
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 you are called to serve on a federal grand jury, you will receive $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.
Your employer may still pay your regular salary during all or part of your jury service at his or her discretion. Keep in mind, however, that provision of your regular pay during jury service is not mandated under federal law.
The Jury Act does afford certain protections. For example your employer cannot fire or intimidate you based on your federal jury service. He or she cannot harass o intimidate you, either.
Your company or employer may also have specific policies pertaining to jury duty. Consult your direct supervisor or someone in human resources to find out if that’s the case.
Effects of local or state jury duty on employment
There is no universal law that mandates which if any provisions employers must make for employees summoned for jury duty 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 your employer pay your regular salary while you are on jury duty. Or your employer may be able to pay you on a prorated basis.
Fifteen (15) states specifically prohibit employers from requiring employees to take paid vacation, sick, personal, 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 f you work in a state that has jury duty compensation laws, your employer must act accordingly. Failure to do so may result in punishments ranging from fines and penalties to jail time.
Your state labor department is a useful source of information about relevant jury duty leave laws. You can also find information for your state below.