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Jury and Court-Related Leave Policy

Author: Christine P. Corrigan ,CPC Writing Services

When to Use

The Jury System Improvements Act was enacted in 1978 to ensure that federal courts would have adequate juror participation. Many states have a similar law. These laws generally prohibit employers from taking adverse action against (e.g., firing or demoting) an employee whose absence from work is related to jury service.

While there is no federal law protecting an employee who is asked to serve as a witness for the employer or subpoenaed to provide testimony, employers should have a written policy or procedure for the terms and conditions of that leave, to ensure consistent treatment. In addition, some states require employers to permit employees to take a leave when the employee is a witness or a crime or domestic violence victim (including being a family member to the victim), in order to attend the court proceedings relating to the crime.

Employers should adopt written policies 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.