Everything You Need to Know About Jury Duty Leave Laws
If you’ve ever received a summons in the mail and asked yourself, What does this mean? then you’re not alone. If you have to take time off work to serve as a juror, it can be stressful and leave you feeling unprepared, but there are laws that protect your rights while serving jury duty. In this article, we’ll discuss federal and state jury duty leave laws, including who qualifies for leave, what qualifies as jury service, what qualifies as an emergency situation, how much time employees get off to serve on a jury and more!
What should I do if I get a jury duty notice?
If you get a jury duty notice, report for the required service and be prepared for your employer’s questions about when you should be able to return. Your employer is not required by law to pay your wages while you are on jury duty leave. They may elect to do so, but they are not legally obligated to do so.
The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only covers jury duty leave in cases where an employee has worked at least 12 months with his or her employer and has at least 1,250 hours of work in the previous 12 months. FMLA leaves also must last at least 12 weeks total within a year of being granted.
What are my rights regarding leave time when serving on a jury?
Under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, employees who are serving on a jury shall not be required to use vacation or sick leave while they are on jury duty. This means that your employer cannot terminate your employment solely because you are fulfilling your civic duty of serving on a jury. In fact, employers may not even ask prospective employees if they have served on a jury.
Is there paid leave available if I have to serve on a jury?
Some states offer paid leave while others only offer unpaid leave. Unpaid leave is more common in the US, which means that you’re responsible for paying your salary during jury duty unless there’s a state law that says otherwise. Paid or unpaid, we recommend checking with your employer before you go on a jury to find out their specific policies and see if they have any other recommendations.
Are there any restrictions on my pay while serving on a jury?
All jury members are entitled to a full-time salary for the duration of their service. The law also entitles you to one day off with pay during any three week period, but this must be non-consecutive. In addition, your employer may not discriminate against you because of your jury service or attempt to retaliate in any way by firing or penalizing you because of it.
Do I receive this same guarantee with state or local government service?
Serving on a jury can be an honor, but it is also time-consuming and expensive. If you are called for jury duty, the federal law prohibits your employer from firing or disciplining you if you are required to serve on a jury.