Handling Requests for Jury Leave
Jury duty is serious business. If your employees ask for leave in order to
serve on a jury, consult your state
law and, if you have a policy,
follow it. Here are some examples of situations that got employers into trouble.
In each of the following cases, a federal court ruled against
- Firing an employee the day after returning from jury duty
— the employer was ordered to pay damages to the
- A supervisor's comments that an employee could not be at
work and on jury duty at the same time, which helped prove
the employer's unlawful motive in firing an employee — the
employer was ordered to pay damages.
- Refusing to pay an employee on jury duty for a paid
holiday because she did not work the day after the holiday,
even though the employer knew she was serving on the grand
jury that day — the employer was ordered to pay damages.
- Refusing to pay an employee during jury service unless the
employee can prove financial hardship.
- Changing the company policy from one in which the company
pays employees during jury service to one in which the
company does not — while an employee was serving jury duty
(because employees are entitled to notice of the change
before they serve).
- Discharging a night-shift employee for not reporting to
work on the night of the day in which he served on a jury
(he was entitled to 24 hours off and should have been
allowed to report the next day).