Civil and criminal cases may go to trial before a jury, which is a panel of randomly selected people from the community who are tasked with rendering verdicts. People who are called to serve jury duty will receive summonses in the mail to appear at a particular time and on a specific date. People who are called for jury duty have job protections. Employers are not able to penalize workers for reporting for jury duty. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler are able to help workers who were punished by their employers for jury duty.
People who report for jury duty may either be selected to serve on the jury or dismissed. If the people are dismissed at a fairly early time, their employers may ask the employees to return to work for the rest of the day. In some cases, employees who are selected for jury duty may be placed on a jury that could be sequestered, and trials may last for weeks or months. Employers should have jury duty policies that consider these factors.
Jury duty leave
Being available for jury duty is mandatory under the law. In nearly every state, employers are required to give their employees time off from work when they are summoned to appear for jury duty.
The leave may be paid or unpaid. If an employed is summoned to report for jury duty at a time when his or her absence from work would have a significantly negative impact on the employer, the employer is able to notify the court in writing. The court will then take the employer’s request under consideration and may postpone the worker’s jury duty.
Jury duty leave pay
Every state has its own laws about whether employees need to be compensated by their employers when they serve on juries. In New Jersey, however, employers are not required to pay their employees who miss work to serve on juries. New Jersey law provides that the state will pay jurors $5 per day for the first three days of jury service. After three days have passed, the jurors are compensated with $40 per day.
Adverse job actions
Under federal law, employers are prohibited from penalizing employees who are required to report for jury duty. The prohibited actions include any adverse job action, including terminations, demotions, denials of bonuses, and others. Employees must be allowed to come back to work when they have finished their jury duty.
Jury pay and the Fair Labor Standards Act
Under the FLSA, employers do not have to pay workers for the time that they are not working, including when they serve on juries. Employers may agree to pay their employees for the time that they spend reporting for jury duty, however. Federal employees continue to be paid their regular salaries while they serve on juries. A majority of private employers also pay their workers for the time that they spend on jury duty leave.
Contact Swartz Swidler
If your employer threatened or harassed you for reporting for jury duty or took a negative job action against you, you may have legal rights. The employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler can examine what happened and explain whether you might have the grounds to file a claim. Contact us today for a free case analysis.