California Labor &
Employment Law Blog
Jun. 8 2005

Time Off For Jury Duty

Topics: Wage & Hour Issues

As long as you are given reasonable advance notice, employees are entitled to take time off to serve as a juror or as a witness if subpoenaed to appear at trial. You may not discriminate or otherwise punish an employee for taking time off to serve as a juror or a witness.

Question: Am I required to pay an employee who misses work because of jury duty?

Answer: Unless a union agreement or contract provides otherwise, you are not required to pay non-exempt employees for time not worked due to jury service. However, due to the prohibition against discrimination against employees who are subpoenaed or called for jury service, employers should have a jury duty policy that is consistent with other policies for taking time off due to non-personal, non-voluntary reasons. In the case of an exempt employee, the employer must continue to pay the full weekly salary unless the jury service prevents the exempt employee from performing any work for a full week.

Many employers voluntarily pay full or half wages for a specified period of time, such as a maximum of two weeks, to employees who are selected to sit on a jury. They may view it as a civic duty, or an effort to raise the quality of juries by expanding the pool of people who are able to serve. As with all policies, whether you choose to provide paid or unpaid leave, it is important to have a clear policy that is uniformly enforced.

About CDF

For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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