California Jury Duty Pay - The Basics
If you've been called for jury service, you may have questions and concerns about your job and your paycheck. California-based law office Davtyan Law Firm has put together a small primer on the rights California employees have when they serve on a jury. Although many people worry about missing work during their jury service, California actually has several laws in place to protect workers while they fulfill their civic duties.
Are Employers Required To Pay For Jury Duty?
Unfortunately, there is no law, either federal or state, that requires employers to pay employees while they serve on a jury. However, many employers are beginning to adopt policies that pay employees when they are required to report for jury duty, mostly large corporations and government entities. Even if an employer doesn't pay on their own, there is a government payment that California workers can collect for their jury service. Under state law, jurors can collect $15.00 per day and $0.34 per mile, starting on the second day of jury duty. There are certain rules you must follow to collect this payment, so be sure to ask about it at the courthouse. Employees also have the right to use their paid time off during the leave, such as personal leave or vacation time. If your employer refuses to let you use your accrued leave for jury duty, you may need the help of a California employment lawyer.
Do Employers Have To Give Time Off For Jury Duty?
Both at the federal level and in the state of California, there are laws in place that require employers to give employees time off to serve on a jury when they are requested to do so. When a California employee is called for jury duty by the local courts or is required to come to court as a witness, state law requires that the employer not only give the worker the time off but also protect the employee's job while they are gone. However, it is important to note that most times the employee is required to give "reasonable advance notice" if they are required to participate in jury duty or are called as a witness. Though in some cases, advance notice may not be feasible. Prospective jurors should alert their employers to their jury duty as soon as possible.
Unlike other types of protected leave, all employees in the state of California are eligible to take jury duty and witness leave, regardless of the number of workers employed by the employer or the amount of time worked by the employee. Employers who do not follow these rules can face a misdemeanor charge in criminal court.
How Do Jury Duty and Witness Leave Laws Protect an Employee?
Jury duty leave laws in California also prohibit employers from firing, demoting, harassing, or discriminating against an employee for taking time off for jury duty. California wrongful termination laws provide legal remedies to employees who lose their job for these unlawful reasons. If your employer has treated you negatively because you participated in jury service or served as a trial witness, you should speak to a qualified California employment attorney as soon as possible.
Contact A California Employment Law Attorney At Davtyan Law Firm
When employers refuse to allow employees time off for jury duty or treat them negatively because of it, it may be a violation of California labor law and the employee may have grounds to file a lawsuit for reinstatement, back pay, lost wages, and/or benefits.
If you have questions about your legal rights regarding jury duty or think you have been treated unfairly by your employer, call Davtyan Law Firm today to speak to a legal expert about your potential case.