Jury Duty

Editor's Note: Be sure to comply with state 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 the risk of termination, demotion or other unfavorable (adverse) employment action. Employees must be reinstated to their positions upon the conclusion of jury duty.

Generally, employers may ask employees to provide prompt notification of the need for leave and may request documentation of the need, 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 for jury duty or court appearances (e.g., as a witness). The 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 employees.

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

Author: Melissa S. Burdorf, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in Jury Duty

  • Jury and Witness Duty Leave Handbook Statement: Rhode Island

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Updated when to include, policy and guidance to reflect an employee's right to take unpaid time off to respond to a subpoena, effective June 6, 2016.

  • Jury Duty: Rhode Island

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Updated to reflect an employee's right to take unpaid time off to respond to a subpoena, effective June 6, 2016.

  • Jury Duty: Federal

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Enhanced to improve the comprehensiveness, organization and scope of coverage.

  • Jury Duty Postponement: New Letter Added

    Date:
    October 5, 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    A new letter can be used to request that an employee be excused from serving on a jury or to defer jury service based on an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience to the employer's business operations.

  • Jury Duty Postponement Request Letter

    Type:
    Policies and Documents

    This model letter can be used when an employer wishes to request that an employee be excused from serving on a jury or to defer jury service based on an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience to the employer's business operations.

  • Jury and Witness Duty Leave Handbook Statement: Nevada

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Nevada employers seeking to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of leave for service as a juror or witness and to demonstrate their compliance with Nevada's jury duty leave and witness duty laws should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Jury Duty Leave Laws by State

    Type:
    Quick Reference

    Employers should always be prepared to respond to an employee's request for time off to respond to jury service summons or subpoenas, to attend court for prospective jury service or to serve as a juror. This Quick Reference chart covers each state's various requirements for private employers, including whether an employee needs to meet any eligibility requirements; provide advance notice or documentation requesting time off; and more.

  • Jury Duty Leave Handbook Statement: Miami-Dade County, Florida

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Florida employers who are located in, or do business within, Miami-Dade County and have 10 or more employees who are regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 35 hours per week, should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Jury and Witness Duty Leave Handbook Statement: California

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    California employers seeking to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of jury and witness duty leave and to demonstrate their compliance with California's jury and witness duty leave law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Jury Duty Leave Handbook Statement: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New Jersey employers seeking to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of jury duty and to demonstrate their compliance with New Jersey's jury duty leave law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

About This Topic

HR guidance on legal obligations regarding employees participating in jury duty.