Montana Jury Duty/ Court Appearance laws & HR compliance analysis

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

Jury duty. Montana has no law specifically giving protection to employees called to jury duty.
However, the federal Jury Systems Improvement Act applies to state citizens serving on federal juries and states that employers can be sued for terminating or discriminating against employees because of their federal jury service.
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Private employers. State law does not require private employers to pay employees for absences caused by jury duty or court appearances.
State employees. State employees are entitled to paid leave for jury duty or to appear in court as witnesses, subject to a deduction for any juror fee paid to the employees, unless the time spent on jury duty or serving as witnesses is charged to annual leave.
No deduction may be made for payments received as a juror expense allowance. Employers may request that the court excuse their employees from jury duty if they are needed for the proper operation of a unit of state or local government (MT Code Sec. 2-18-619(1)).
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 necessary arrangements to cover for him or her during the required absence.
This is not to say that problems won't arise when an individual is kept out of work for weeks at a time or when an employee in a position of crucial importance is called to jury or witness duty unexpectedly. But, for the most part, ...

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