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Employee Jury Duty

What is Jury Duty?

A Jury is a body or group of people that decides the guilt of a person on trial or in a legal dispute. To be a Juror you do not need any knowledge of the legal system to be a juror. The jury’s duty is first to decide the disputed issues of fact, and then to reach and return a true verdict that is based solely and exclusively on the evidence, testimony and law that is presented during the trial The jury is sworn to uphold the ethics of the courtroom and the morals imposed by the United States Constitution.

In the state of Ma, if an employee is on Jury Duty, can the employer make them work extra shifts to make up for the time missed caused by Jury Duty?

According to M.G.L. chapter 234A, section 61, which reads in part:

An employer shall not deprive a juror-employee of his employment or any incidents or benefits thereof, nor shall an employer harass, threaten, or coerce an employee because the employee has received a juror summons, responds thereto, performs any obligation or election of juror service as a grand or trial juror, or exercises any right under any section of this chapter. An employer shall not impose compulsory work assignments upon any juror-employee nor shall the employer do any other intentional act which will substantially interfere with the availability, effectiveness, attentiveness, or peace of mind of the employee during the performance of his juror service. Any employer who violates this section shall be guilty of a crime and, upon conviction, may be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars. Any employer who violates this section also shall be liable in tort to the juror-employee.

This statute basically says that an employer cannot make any imposition or insinuate retaliation against an employee for attending jury duty. This would include requiring the employee to work extra hours or implying that the employee's failure to work extra hours during jury service will impact their employment situation.

Is an employer in MA obligated to pay an employee on Jury Duty?

A Massachusetts employer is obligated to compensate their employee for the first three days of jury service only. Starting on the fourth day, the state/court pays the juror $50 per day, but the employer has no continuing obligation. If the employee continues to perform work during jury service, the employer does not have the right to deduct the court's compensation from the employee's pay.

Can a PA employer withhold holiday pay from an employee if they are called to jury duty on holiday?

Pennsylvania law prohibits employers for punishing people who serve as jurors. Often, jurors turn over their jury checks to the employer and are then paid their regular pay. I suggest you ask management to look at the Pennsylvania law and not make you take vacation time or paid time off for public service.

If a employee was terminated effective the day he/she was to report on Jury duty and their termination letter even stated jury duty as one of the reasons is there legal recourse ?

It is the law that every person has a legal duty to serve on a jury. A person who fails to appear for jury duty will be found in contempt of court and is subject to fines and jail time.

An employer cannot terminate an employee for serving on a jury or going to court as required under the law. An employee can actually sue the employer to get compensation for losing their employment and often are entitled to return to the same employment.

In most states and cases, someone who has been chosen to attend Jury Duty is protected from being fired, reprimanded or harassed from their job or employer. For the most part, attending Jury Duty is very rewarding but can seem to be a nuance if the person attending does not know the jury duty rules and jury duty compensation. Ask an Expert if you have questions regarding employee jury duty.
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