When an employee is called to serve on a jury, it can be a strain on your business. You might need to adjust schedules to fill the employee’s absence. Product creation or services might be disrupted.
When your employee is fulfilling their civic duty, your business doesn’t stop. But, when an employee is on jury duty leave, do you stop paying them? Or, do you give them jury duty pay?
Do you have to pay an employee for jury duty?
You might have to give your employees jury duty pay. Take a look at the federal and state jury duty laws to find out what you must do.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) says you do not have to pay employees for time when they aren’t working. This includes jury duty.
So according to federal law, if an employee misses work because they are serving on a jury, you don’t have to pay them.
Because of the federal law, you don’t have to give jury duty pay unless your state laws say otherwise. Some states have jury duty compensation laws that are more strict than the federal law. If your state does have jury duty pay laws, you must follow those laws.
Your state might require you to give your employee their regular wages while on jury duty leave. Or you might only give partial wages for a short time.
If you violate jury duty pay laws, you might have to pay back pay and penalties. You might even be subject to jail time.
Every state creates unique laws, so make sure you check your specific state laws. Your state labor department should be able to give you more information.
Jury duty pay by state
Below are the laws for jury duty compensation by state. Be sure to check with your state for accuracy. Also, additional jury duty leave laws might apply.
|Alabama||Yes, for full-time employees. Regular pay.|
|Colorado||Yes, for regularly employed employees. Regular wages up to $50 per day for the first three days of jury duty. You can agree to pay more.|
|Connecticut||Yes, for full-time employees. Regular wages for the first five days.|
|District of Columbia||Yes, for full-time employees. Regular wages for the first five days, minus compensation for jury service.|
|Louisiana||Yes, for regularly employed employees. Regular wages for one day.|
|Massachusetts||Yes, for regularly employed employees. Regular wages for the first three days.|
|Nebraska||Yes, any employee. Regular wages, minus compensation for jury service.|
|New York||Yes, for employers with more than 10 employees. Must pay the first $40 of wages for the first three days.|
|Tennessee||Yes. Regular wages, minus compensation for jury service. You do not have to pay the employee if they are a temporary employee or have worked for you less than six months. You also do not have to pay wages if you have less than five employees.|
Voluntary jury duty pay
Even if you aren’t required to give jury duty pay, you can still give it as a benefit. Voluntarily giving jury duty pay can help give your employees financial stability while they are gone. Of all U.S. employees, 57% receive paid jury duty leave. That percentage is even higher in some professions and regions.
Whatever you choose to do, be consistent. Treat your employees fairly. Put your jury duty pay policy in your employee handbook so employees know what to expect.
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This article is updated from its original publication date of April 18, 2012.This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.