If you are called to perform your civic duty by serving on a jury, you may need to put your life on hold for a few days, weeks, or even months. Most jurors who are called to serve only have to do so for 5-8 days, but even this means missing a full week or more of work.
It’s understandable why anyone would be concerned about losing their job if they’re called to serve on a jury. Missing a week’s worth of work is significant and can put one’s company behind on any pending projects. Once someone receives a jury summons, they can petition to postpone their service until a later date, but they can’t ignore the call to serve. If a second jury summons goes unanswered, it can mean spending up to five days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
This situation puts many employees between their obligation to their employers and their obligation to serve on a jury. In other words, between a rock and a hard place. Fortunately, the latter obligation supersedes that of the former: Employers must allow their employees to serve on juries without fear of penalty, termination, or any other form of retaliation.
While an employee can’t suffer any adverse employment actions for serving on a jury, they are responsible for providing their employer with reasonable notice of their jury duty obligations. Employers can also request proof of any employee’s jury summons to verify that the time spent away from work is for a legitimate and legal purpose.
While jurors are compensated for their time by the court, the rate they receive may not meet that of their normal pay. This can be a considerable factor for many because employers are not obligated to pay any employee who is serving jury duty.
Seeking Legal Assistance?
If you’ve suffered a negative consequence at work for going on jury duty, reach out to our employment law attorney for help. K2 Employment Law can help employees with retaliation claims against their employers, especially those that arise as a result of one’s obligation to serve on a jury.
For more information and to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact us online today.