Jury Duty

Editor's Note: Be sure to comply with your state's jury duty laws.

Melissa S. BurdorfOverview: Juries are critical to the functioning of the US legal system. In order to ensure jury participation, federal and state laws require that employers allow eligible employees to participate in jury service without a risk of termination, demotion, or other unfavorable (adverse) employment action. Employers must consider employees attending jury duty to be on a furlough or leave of absence - therefore, such employees must be reinstated to their positions upon the conclusion of jury duty.

Generally, employers can ask employees to provide prompt notification of the need for leave and can request documentation, such as a jury summons or a letter from the court clerk. The amount of time an employee spends on jury duty is not in the employer's control - rather, it varies based on the court proceeding. Employers should have a written policy that sets the parameters of an employee's absence to attend to civil responsibilities, such as jury duty, court appearances (e.g., witness) and victim or domestic violence leave. Such policy should be clearly communicated to all employees. Multistate employers may want to have a policy that follows the state law with the greatest benefit to the employee.

Trends: Many states have jury duty leave and witness duty leave. Some states also provide for crime victim's leave and/or domestic violence leave. Generally, these laws require employers provide employees with an unpaid leave of absence when the employee is a victim of a crime (or is a representative or sometimes a family member of the victim), in order for the employee to participate in the court proceeding related to the crime.

Author: Melissa S. Burdorf, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in Jury Duty

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    Type:
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    In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to jury duty leave.

  • Jury Duty: Massachusetts

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Massachusetts employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to jury duty.

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  • More Protections for Maryland Employees Taking Jury Duty Leave

    Date:
    04 October 2012
    Type:
    News

    Maryland employers should be aware that as of October 1, 2012, employees that serve four or more hours of jury duty in a day (including travel time) cannot be required to return to work when their jury service ends if their employment shift begins on or after 5 p.m. on the day of the employee's jury service or before 3 a.m. on the day following the employee's jury service.

  • Date:
    23 August 2012
    Type:
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  • Jury Duty: Alaska

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Alaska employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to jury duty.

  • Jury and Court-Related Leave Policy

    Type:
    Policies and Documents

    An employer may use this policy regarding absence due to jury duty and/or other court-related leave in order to outline both the employer's responsibilities and employees' obligations related to such absences.

  • Jury Duty: South Carolina

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of South Carolina employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to jury duty.

  • Jury Duty: South Dakota

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of South Dakota employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to jury duty.