West Virginia Jury Duty/ Court Appearance laws & HR compliance analysis

West Virginia Jury Duty/ Court Appearance: What you need to know

Job protection. Under West Virginia law, employers must excuse employees for the day or days they are on jury duty. Violators may be charged with contempt of court and fined. In addition, any employee terminated in violation of the law may be entitled to reinstatement, back pay, and attorneys' fees (WV Code Sec. 52-3-1).
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West Virginia law prohibits an employer from terminating or threatening to terminate, discriminating against, or threatening to decrease the regular compensation of an employee because he or she has been summoned for or is absent because of jury duty (WV Code Sec. 61-5-25a).
Employers may not terminate an at-will employee because that employee has given or is called to give testimony in a legal action (Paige v. Columbia Natural Res. Inc., 480 S.E.2d 817 (1996)).
Private employers. West Virginia law does not require employers to pay employees for time off for jury or witness duty.
Although not required to do so by state law, many employers do pay all employees called to jury duty or court appearances, regardless of exempt or nonexempt status.
The prevailing attitude among employers is that an employee summoned to serve on a jury or to testify has a civic obligation to do so 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 seem to be willing ...

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