Rhode Island Jury Duty/ Court Appearance laws & HR compliance analysis

Rhode Island Jury Duty/ Court Appearance: What you need to know

Jury duty. An employer may not discharge an employee because of absence from work as a result of jury duty. An employee may not be penalized with loss of wage increases, promotions, longevity benefits, or any other benefit because of absence as a result of jury duty.
Employers that violate this provision are guilty of a misdemeanor (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 9-9-28).
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Court appearance. Employers with 50 or more employees must allow an employee who is a victim of a crime to leave work to attend court proceedings related to the crime.
Before the employee takes such leave, the employee may be required to provide the employer with a copy of notification of the court proceeding (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 12-28-13).
The leave is not required to be paid, but the employee may elect to use or an employer may require the employee to use the employee's accrued paid vacation, personal leave, or sick leave.
An employer may not dismiss an employee who is a victim of a crime if the employee exercises the right to leave work to attend court proceedings related to the crime.
The period of leave may be limited only if the employee's absence creates an undue hardship on the employer's business.
Private employers. State law does not require private employers to pay employees for absences caused by jury duty or court appearances.
Public sector. When public employees are paid by their employer for time spent performing jury duty, the time is counted as hours worked for purposes of overtime compensation (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 36-4-63).
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 ...

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