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

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

Jury duty. 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).
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).
Court appearance. 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)).
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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 who are subpoenaed to serve as witnesses, summoned for jury service, or required to attend an administrative hearing for the agency or in the course of their employment may do so without loss of pay or charges to their annual leave. State employees who attend court as litigants, defendants, or witnesses on matters of personal or familiar interest may be granted leave without pay or may use accrued annual leave.
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 ...

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