Jury duty service is very important in enhancing democracy in America. As such, California’s jury leave law which is derived from the Labor Code section 230 recognizes employees’ freedom to engage in jury duty. Jury duty is a process where citizens act as witnesses in a court of law upon receiving summon papers. In most instances, employees are reluctant to serve on a jury due to fear of lack of compensation by their employers. It is, therefore, necessary for employers to create jury duty leave policies that motivate employees to participate in jury service.
In relation to jury duty leave laws in the workplace, there are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The questions are as follows:
Is it obligatory to pay an employee attending jury duty?
The law does not compel employers to pay employees attending jury service. However, some employers have formulated jury duty leave policies that guarantee employee compensation for their service. In organizations where there are no such policies, the employee does not receive compensation.
Do I commit an offense by communicating with my employee in the course of a trial?
It is not an offense to communicate with your employee as long as it is during the trial recess. However, it is an offense to discuss details of a trial with the employee.
Do I have the mandate to verify that my employees will attend jury service?
It is your right as an employer to request your employees to furnish you with the necessary documentation-notice of proceedings, a court order- that confirms they will be attending jury service.
When should I withhold compensation for my exempt employees on a jury?
An employer is required to pay exempt employees for the total days worked. Even so, an employer can withhold compensation if jury duty deprives the employees of their ability to execute tasks for the entire jury service week.
Is there any chance that I can be compelled to pay my nonexempt employees?
There are instances where an employer may be compelled by a contract or union agreement to pay nonexempt employees.
Do courts compensate employers who compensate employees for jury service?
Unfortunately, courts do not compensate employers. If an employer compensates an employee for attending jury duty, the employee ought to refund the juror’s fees to the employer.
To wrap up, it is key for employers to enact jury duty leave guidelines that are fair to employees. This should be done since jury service is part of employees’ duty as citizens to influence the legal process. With respect to employees who hardly understand about jury duty leave laws, it is wise to consult legal experts in California labor laws to get more insights these laws.