California Jury Duty/ Court Appearance laws & HR compliance analysis

California Jury Duty/ Court Appearance: What you need to know

Jury duty. An employer may not discharge or otherwise penalize an employee who is called to serve as a juror provided the employee gives the employer reasonable notice before taking time off (CA Lab. Code Sec. 230).
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Court appearance. An employer may not discharge or otherwise penalize an employee who is a victim of a felony; whose spouse, registered domestic partner, child, stepchild, sibling, stepsibling, parent, or stepparent is a victim of a felony; or who takes time off to appear in court in response to a subpoena or other court order as a witness in any judicial proceeding (CA Lab. Code Sec. 230).
Also, an employer many not discharge or otherwise penalize an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off to obtain relief, including a restraining order or other injunctive relief, to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the victim or of his or her child.
Verification. An employer may, however, ask for verification of the summons to jury duty, subpoena, notice of proceedings, court order, or other evidence from the court or prosecuting attorney that the employee appeared in court.
Private employers. State law does not require private employers to pay employees for absences caused by jury duty or court appearances.
Best practices. Regardless of state law requirements, most employers do pay all employees called to jury duty or court appearances.
The prevailing attitude among employers is that an employee summoned to serve on a jury or to testify has a civic obligation and that it is the company's responsibility to support the fulfillment of that obligation. This is achieved by protecting the employee from loss of income and by making the ...

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