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Do I Have to Let My Employee Go to Jury Duty?

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on October 10, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

As an employer, jury duty can be a hassle. It can make you miss work if you get called to serve.

Not to mention it could make a key employee absent from their post if the government chooses them to sit for jury duty.

What are the legal ramifications if an employee gets called away on jury duty? What should you know as an employer?

Jury duty pay is not required under federal law.

Employers are not required to pay employees when they serve on a jury in federal court. But certain states do require employers to pay. Other times, whether or not an employee is granted jury duty pay is up to the employer to decide.

Don't harass employees that go on jury duty.

Many states have laws that prohibit employers from intimidating or engaging in retaliatory tactics against employees on jury duty. These statutes vary by state. For example, in some states employees need to give proof of jury duty to employers before the law will protect them. In others, employees are required to return to work after jury duty ends.

No employer wants to see one of their prized employees miss work for weeks because of jury duty. But remember: firing them can be a violation of the law.

If you violate your state's jury duty statutes you could face penalties.

Violating state jury duty statutes could land you in hot water. Employees who have been wronged can file lawsuits. And in certain states, employers can be charged with a misdemeanor if they violate jury statutes, which may result in fines or jail time.

For employers, jury duty can be a headache. And figuring out what to do in an employee's absence can be tough. But don't make a tough situation worse by breaking the law.

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