Jury Duty Pay
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Is My Employer Required to Pay Me While I Am Serving Jury Duty?
Very few states require employers to pay employees for the time they spend on jury duty. Among those that do have such a requirement, the amount of pay will vary from state to state. For example:
- Alabama: Employer must pay full-time employees their usual compensation less the fee or compensation received for serving as a juror.
- Connecticut: Employers must pay full-time employees their regular wages for the first five days of jury duty, or any part thereof, unless they are considered temporary or casual employees.
- Colorado: Employers must pay regular employees their regular wages for the first three days of jury duty.
- Massachusetts: Employers must pay all employees - part-time, temporary and casual - for the first three days or jury duty, or part thereof.
- New York: An employer of ten or fewer employees may withhold the full wages of an employee absent from work on account of jury service. An employer of ten or more employees must pay to an employee serving on jury duty the first $40.00 of that employee's daily wage for the first three days of jury service.
What if the Employer Fails to Pay Wages as Required by State Law?
If state law requires an employer to pay employees for the time they spend on jury duty, and the employer fails to do so, the consequences will vary among the states and can be severe:
- Alabama law: Employee can sue employer for damages
- Connecticut law: Employee can sue employer and receive up to treble damages and attorneys' fees
- Colorado law: Employee can sue employer and receive up to treble damages and attorneys' fees
- Massachusetts law: Employee can sue employer and receive up to treble damages and attorneys' fees
- New York law: Punishable as criminal contempt
What if the Employer Really Cannot Afford to Pay an Employee who is Serving Jury Duty?
Of the states that require employers to pay employees while they serve on jury duty, most will excuse the employer from this duty upon a finding that it would cause financial hardship.
Can an Employer Fire an Employee for Serving on Jury Duty?
No. It is a violation of public policy to fire an employee or threaten to fire an employee for serving on jury duty, even if the employee is an at-will employee. Discharging an employee for serving on jury duty is a form of wrongful termination.
Should You Hire a Lawyer Experienced in Employment Law?
If you believe that you are entitled to compensation from your employer for time served on jury duty, or if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated for serving on jury duty, an attorney can help you investigate the matter and gather appropriate documents. Many worker's rights and civil right's laws have detailed procedures and filing deadlines. An attorney can assist you through these procedures in order to get you the relief you seek. If you are an employer facing a wrongful termination lawsuit, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.
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Last Modified: 10-03-2014 03:04 PM PDT
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