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What You Need to Know about Jury Duty Law

By Minara El-Rahman | Last updated on

The story of how an employer in Miami allegedly fired an employee over jury duty service highlights an important question: Do you know how to deal with employee jury duty and the jury duty law? One of the most basic rights of employment is allowing employees to do their civic duty.

Do You Need to Give Employees Time Off for Jury Duty?

The laws of almost every state require that employers give employees time off in order to vote and serve time in jury duty when the receive a jury duty summons.

These laws vary widely in the details, however -- some require employers to provide paid leave, while others do not; some allow employers to require employees to show some proof that they voted or were called for jury service; and some actually impose criminal penalties on employers who fire or otherwise penalize an employee for taking time off work for these civic obligations.

Make sure that you understand your state's jury duty law.

What If You Just Give Your Employees a Hard Time about Jury Duty?

Most states forbid firing an employee for taking time off for jury duty. There are even some states that take an extra step and prohibit intimidating or threatening an employee from serving jury duty.

Do You Need To Pay Employees For Time Off From Jury Duty?

Unless your employee handbook or other personnel policies state otherwise, employers in most states don't have to provide paid time off work to employees responding to a jury duty summons. However, a handful of states do require employers to provide at least some pay for this time off.

Some states attempt to protect employers from abuse by allowing employers to require proof of jury duty attendance.

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