Leave for Jury Duty
Our society functions partly because adults participate in jury duty. It is illegal not to serve time on a jury when you receive a summons. However, serving on a jury can present a financial hardship, particularly for workers who live paycheck to paycheck. You may be wondering what your rights are in connection with jury duty, including whether your employer can stop you from serving on a jury and whether your employer must pay you for the time that you serve on a jury to make up for lost wages. If you are concerned about leave for jury duty, you should discuss your situation with the experienced California employment attorneys at The Nourmand Law Firm.Leave for Jury Duty
Your employer should not use threats or intimidation to stop you from serving on a jury. It should not threaten to dock your pay or demote you. It should not retaliate against you for serving in any manner. If your employer fired you for answering your jury summons, our lawyers may be able to recover damages on your behalf. However, California law does not require your employer to pay you for lost wages when you serve on a jury.
You can, however, use your vacation hours or paid time off or sick leave in order to cover the period of time in which you serve on a jury. Your employer is not allowed to stop you from using any hours that you have accumulated as time off under its policies.
Moreover, your employer is allowed to ask you to give proof that you actually served on the jury. In most cases, you can turn in the notice given to you by the court, the original jury duty service notice, or the initial subpoena.
You are supposed to give your employer reasonable advance notice of your intention to take time off to serve unless you are simply unable to give the advance notice. What counts as reasonable advance notice? Generally, it is wise to let your employer know that you may be called when you first become aware that you could be called via summons. In most cases, there is ample time to let your employer know that you may be called to serve on a jury.Are Jurors Paid?
In California, jurors are paid $15 per day. This is a small sum of money; many workers cannot afford to lose their paycheck in order to serve on a jury at this rate of pay. If you need to serve on a jury for a longer period of time, you could be hurt financially. Even so, you must appear when called.
Some employers offer paid jury duty leave. It is up to them whether or not to offer this type of leave. In most cases, when this leave is offered, it will be stated in your employment handbook so that you know ahead of time whether you can obtain paid leave and can let your employer know in plenty of time that you need to take this time off so that it can plan.
Unfortunately, some employers do not understand their obligations to allow their employees to take leave for jury duty or flout those obligations with regard to their employees. Your employer may face a significant penalty for threatening you or retaliating against you for taking time to serve on a jury when called. It may be appropriate to sue for damages in the event that your employer retaliates against you for taking time off from work to serve on a jury. It is important to seek knowledgeable representation from a lawyer who understands the potential damages that may be recovered by filing suit. Damages that may be recovered through a lawsuit include lost wages, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of work, and damage to reputation.Consult an Employment Attorney in California
If your employer is denying you leave for jury duty, you should discuss your situation with the experienced California attorneys at The Nourmand Law Firm. The firm has represented clients for more than 20 years in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties, as well as Oakland and Sacramento, along with other regions across the state. Complete our online form or call us at 310-553-3600 or 800-700-WAGE (9243).