Jury Duty/ Court Appearance laws & HR compliance analysis

Jury Duty/ Court Appearance: What you need to know

Jury duty. The federal Jury System Improvement Act of 1978 (28 USC 1875) prohibits employers from discharging or taking any other adverse employment action (threatening to discharge, intimidating, etc.) against permanent employees because they perform jury duty in federal court.
Employers that violate the Act may be sued for back pay, reinstatement, and attorneys' fees, and may also be fined.
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State requirements. Most states have additional laws that offer similar protection to employees that perform jury duty in state courts.
Court appearance. Appearing as a witness, defendant, in court is compulsory and can be enforced by subpoena and arrest, if necessary. Official committees and boards of federal and state agencies often have the same power as the courts to subpoena individuals.
A number of states prohibit employers from discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee who must appear in court, but federal law does not address the issue.
In addition, a growing number of states offer the same protections to any employee who is the victim of a crime, the immediate family member of a crime victim, or someone who attends juvenile court as a legal parent or guardian of a youth.
Nonexempt employees. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to pay nonexempt salaried employees or hourly employees while on leave for jury service.
Exempt employees. Exempt employees who are absent from work for part of a workweek to perform jury service should be paid their full salaries to preserve their exemption from federal overtime laws and regulations of the FLSA (29 CFR 541.118).
However, the FLSA does not require payment when the exempt employee is absent for 1 or more full ...

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