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Employees with Jury Duty

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 7/11/2008
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Does the law protect employees who cannot work because they have jury duty?

Yes. Employers must proceed cautiously when dealing with an employee who has been assigned jury duty. Because jury duty is generally mandatory, laws have been enacted to ensure that individuals performing this civic service are protected from adverse employment actions. For example, federal law provides that "no employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee’s jury service." Failure to abide by this prohibition can result in reinstatement of the employee, a civil penalty of up to $1,000, and attorneys’ fees and costs. Some state laws give employees serving as jurors even greater protection. For example, in addition to prohibiting adverse employment actions against employees serving as jurors, Tennessee requires that an employee serving on jury duty "shall be entitled to such employee’s usual compensation received from such employment, less the amount of the fee or compensation the employee received for serving as a juror." Although applicable laws may vary, it is generally safe to conclude that an employer cannot take any adverse employment action against an employee on account of that employee’s jury service.

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Categories: 2008, Human Resources

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