United States citizens who receive a summons for jury duty must report to the courthouse and perform their civic duty. Your jury duty responsibilities could require anywhere from several hours to several months off work, though. What happens to your job and paycheck while you serve on a jury? Learn more about laws and your employer’s jury duty selection policy that affect your ability to get time off work and receive a paycheck when you’re called for jury duty.
Verify Your State’s Laws
The U.S. Department of Labor allows states to determine if jurors can receive time off work. Most states have established time off and paycheck guidelines employers must follow when an employee receives a jury duty summons, so verify your state’s specific jury duty leave laws.
In general, many states require employers to provide employees with time off work for jury duty. Some states also allow employers to offer different levels of time off based on the company’s industry and location and the employee’s job title.
Additionally, state laws determine if employers must pay employees who serve on a jury. The law may allow employers to provide unpaid leave or deduct jury pay from the employee’s paycheck. In most cases, though, employers cannot cut benefits, including insurance coverage and vacation time accrual, while employees serve on a jury.
Review Your Employer’s Jury Duty Selection Policy
Many companies include a jury duty selection policy in the employee handbook. It outlines time off and pay details for employees who receive a jury duty summons, so review the policy and follow it as you arrange for your jury duty service.
Keep in mind that federal law protects employees while they serve on jury duty. Employers may not discourage employees from serving or terminate, demote, harass, threaten or coerce an employee who reports for jury duty.
Steps to Take When you Receive a Jury Duty Summons
As soon as you receive a jury duty summons, notify your employer. Early notification gives your supervisor time to find coverage for your duties or time to write a letter and ask the court to postpone your jury duty date, which may be beneficial if you’re an essential employee or are involved in a major project.
You will also want to discuss your summons with the Human Resources department and review your employer’s jury duty selection policy. Your employer may require you to show proof of your summons before they grant you leave or pay.
Jury duty remains a privilege and responsibility for Americans but can disrupt your job. Understand your rights under state law and your employer’s jury duty selection policy as you perform your civic duty.