Washington Jury Duty/ Court Appearance laws & HR compliance analysis

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

Jury duty. Washington law requires employers to allow employees sufficient time off to serve as jurors when summoned.
An employer may not discharge, threaten, or deny the employee promotional opportunities because of jury duty. The law applies to all employers.
Employers that violate this law are guilty of a misdemeanor. An employer that is sued by an employee for violation of this law may be ordered to reinstate the employee and pay damages and attorneys' fees (WA Rev. Code Sec. 2.36.165).
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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.
Public employers. Public employers are encouraged to pay their nonexempt employees serving on jury duty, as well as not to deduct any jury fees.
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, employers are willing to reimburse their employees for a reasonable length of time spent serving on a jury or as a witness.
Some courts pay jurors a small fee. When employers pay employees for time spent in jury ...

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