Jury duty is an important civic responsibility, but it can be extremely inconvenient for both employer and employee. After all, what if your employee is gone for an extended period of time– weeks, months, over a year? Are there certain policies and procedures to follow for employee jury duty? Here’s how to create a policy that addresses jury duty concerns for everyone in the workplace.
Having an employee called to jury duty is usually unexpected. That’s why it’s a good idea to create an employee jury duty policy that addresses your and your employee’s concerns before they arise. If you’re wondering what you should include in your employee jury duty policy, read on.
It’s important that you require your employees to document their summoning. Most companies require employees to submit a document of their summons within one day of receiving the notice, or at least a 24 to 48-hour period. This enables the company to start preparing for the employee’s potential absence.
You might also be wondering if you’re required to offer a certain amount of paid leave for an employee who is selected to be a juror.
Many employees will pay their employee the normal salary for up to two weeks (or 15 days) of consistent jury duty obligations. However, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) it isn’t actually required for employers to pay employees serving as jurors in local or state courts.
Whether you have salaried employees who are called to duty or it’s an hourly employee who was summoned, your requirement for payment all depends on your state’s standards. If you live in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, or Tennessee, you’re required as an employer to pay employees who are serving jury duty.
If you’re not located in one of these states, you can default to the federal standards. For hourly employees, it typically isn’t required for employees to pay their employees serving on jury duty. You might also look at the local and countywide requirements in your area, as these could also be setting the standard for what your company should provide in terms of jury duty.
If an employee is putting in hours towards your organization as well as serving on the jury, this might affect how much pay you’re required to provide them (and whether or not they can make up any work they missed).
Another thing to consider is what to do if employees are summoned to more than two weeks of jury duty. For these situations, you might consider adding a clause about using paid time off to your employee jury duty policy.
Another common question that arises during jury duty conversations is if benefits continue during this time. In almost all circumstances of jury duty, benefits stay exactly the same (as long as the employee continues paying into them).