Jury duty. It is unlawful for any employer to persuade or attempt to persuade any juror to avoid jury service. It is also unlawful to intimidate or to threaten anyone who is summoned for or serves on a jury.
It is likewise prohibited to take any other adverse employment action against an employee who is summoned for or serves on a jury, as long as the employee notifies his or her employer within a reasonable time after receiving a summons.
Employers may not require employees to use annual, vacation, or sick leave for time spent responding to a summons, participating in the jury selection process, or serving on a jury. Employers that violate these provisions may be cited for contempt of court.
A court may excuse a juror if he or she can show that attendance would cause a serious financial loss to the juror or to the juror’s business. However, a showing of such “undue or extreme financial hardship” will require more than the fact that a prospective juror will be required to be absent from his or her place of employment or business. A person asking a judge to grant an excuse for financial reasons will be required to provide documentation—such as federal and state income tax returns—to support the request.
Courts will postpone and reschedule jury service for a juror employed by an employer with five or fewer full-time employees, or their equivalent, if another employee has been summoned during the same period (MS Code Sec. 13-5-23, MS Code Sec. 13-5-35).