Jury Duty Leave Laws by State
Author: Melissa Burdorf, XpertHR Legal Editor
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. Under federal law, employers may not fire, threaten to fire, intimidate or coerce any permanent employee because of his or her service on a federal jury. While federal law neither requires employers to provide leave for service on a state or local jury nor provides for a specified period of leave, compensation or benefits, many states do. The following chart covers each state's various requirements for private employers, including whether an employee:
- Must meet any eligibility requirements;
- Must provide advance notice or documentation requesting time off;
- Is entitled to receive compensation and/or benefits for time off to respond or fulfill his or her jury duty obligations; and
- May request a postponement of jury duty, such as when the leave will create a hardship to the employer's business operations.
Many states will impose a penalty on an employer that fires or engages in an unfavorable employment action because an employee takes time off or requests time off to attend jury service. No matter what state an employer operates in, the employer should not terminate or discipline an employee because the employee exercised his or her right to fulfill the civic duty of being a juror.
Employers should familiarize themselves with the applicable leave laws in the states in which they operate. This will help an employer manage time off requests and juggle work schedules. Employers should immediately put a plan or policy in place to comply with their particular legal requirements, which may include notifying employees of their jury duty leave rights upon notification of the need for leave.
Where there are no requirements, or where the law is silent on a particular aspect of jury duty leave, cells are marked N/A.
State leave requirements apply to all employers, except in Pennsylvania, where they apply to all employers except retail or service industry employers with fewer than 15 employees or manufacturing industry employers with fewer than 40 employees. Florida employers must also be aware of local jury duty leave laws in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Miami-Dade's law applies to employers with 10 or more employees.
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