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Jury Duty: Federal

Jury Duty requirements by state

Author: Maria Greco Danaher, Ogletree Deakins


  • The Jury System Improvements Act prohibits all private employers from disciplining employees who properly take time off for jury duty. See Covered Employers.
  • All permanent employees are protected by the Jury System Improvements Act. See Employee Eligibility.
  • While the law does not mandate a specific notification period or process for requesting jury duty leave, an employer may ask an employee to provide prompt notification of the need for leave. An employer may also ask for proof of such jury duty service. See Employee Notice and Documentation.
  • The amount of time an employee attends jury duty is dictated by the court proceeding at which the employee is obligated to serve. See Duration of Leave.
  • An employee who is absent from work for jury duty is entitled to participate in insurance or other benefits offered by the employer to the same extent as employees on furlough or other leaves of absence. See Benefits During Leave.
  • Employers should refrain from penalizing employees for absences associated with jury duty by docking pay, unless and until a full review of the situation has been conducted, in order to avoid violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. See Compensation During Leave.
  • Eligible employees who take jury duty leave must be reinstated to their positions without loss of seniority. See Reinstatement.
  • An employer can send a request to postpone an employee's attendance at jury duty if the employee's absence from work creates an undue hardship on the employer's operations. See Postponement.
  • A collective bargaining agreement cannot waive a union employee's statutory right to jury duty leave. See Collective Bargaining Obligations.
  • Jury duty absences cannot be combined with other absences to justify disciplining or terminating an employee. See Prohibited Actions.
  • An employer that violates the Jury System Improvements Act may be required to, among other things, reinstate the employee or pay the employee lost wages. See Enforcement.
  • All US states, except Montana, have some form of jury duty leave law that provides rights equal to or greater than federal law. See Interaction With State Law.
  • An employer should adopt a written policy and/or handbook statement regarding absences due to jury duty leave in order to outline both the employer's responsibilities and employees' obligations related to such absences. See Policies and Handbook Statements.