Georgia Jury Duty/ Court Appearance laws & HR compliance analysis

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

Jury duty. Georgia law prohibits employers from threatening, discharging, or otherwise penalizing employees who have been called to jury duty or subpoenaed to appear at judicial proceedings, except criminal proceedings against the employee.
An employer that violates this provision may be liable for damages and reasonable attorneys' fees (GA Code Sec. 34-1-3).
Employers may require employees to give reasonable notification of an expected absence or tardiness for attendance at a judicial proceeding.
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Court appearance. Georgia courts have held that an employee is not required to prove that a court order or subpoena mandating his or her appearance was actually enforceable in order to assert a claim under the jury duty statute.
Rather, the plaintiff need only show that the order was facially valid so that a reasonable employee would have understood it to mandate compliance (Thomas v. HL-A-Co., 313 Ga. App. 94 (2011)).
Private employers. According to an opinion by the state's Attorney General, an employee is entitled to be paid his or her salary while missing work to serve on jury duty (GA Atty. Gen. Op. No. 89-55 (1989)).
State employers. Under state Personnel Board Rules, a state employee is entitled to his or her regular pay for time spent on jury or witness duty or for any other proceeding for which the employee is summoned or subpoenaed to appear in any federal, state, or local court.
Such leave should have no effect on any report of the employee’s performance. Also, such leave should include both the time that the employee’s presence is actually required by the court plus any additional time as is reasonably necessary for the employee to prepare for or recuperate from the court duty.
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