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The Labor Code section 230 governs the California law on paid jury duty leave. The law makes it clear that employers should accord employees the freedom and time to attend jury duty. In doing so, the employers should desist from subjecting the employees to discrimination, intimidation or disciplinary action. Employees furnished with summon papers by a court to act as witnesses ought to inform their employers beforehand about their intention to undertake jury duty. Employers should verify the employees have the mandate to attend jury duty by soliciting for the necessary documentation.
How jury duty leave is paid
The issue that persists in the minds of employees is whether they will receive salary while on jury service. Well, this issue is multidimensional and dictated by a number of factors.
The organization’s policy
An organization may have a policy in place that ensures employees are paid for duty service. If such a policy does not exist, an employee does not receive any pay since an employer is not obliged to do so.
States’ laws and policies
Some states have a provision that guarantees payment of employees while on jury duty leave. Paid jury duty leave differs from one state to another. For instance, in states such as Alabama, District of Columbia, Colorado and Tennessee, employees receive paid jury duty leave though it has some variations. Full time employees in Alabama receive their regular pay even when on jury service. On the other hand, full time employees in District of Columbia receive their normal salary for the initial five days of jury duty.
An employer’s nonexempt, hourly employees are not entitled to payment in the course of jury duty. No payment is extended during the entire period that they do not work. They are only paid if they make use of their accrued paid time off. However, a union agreement or a contract may compel an employer to pay a nonexempt employee while on jury duty.
An employer has an obligation to pay exempt employees for all the days they implement their assigned duties. However, there are situations when an employer can withhold payment for an exempt employee. Such situations can arise if jury duty interferes with an employee’s capacity to undertake work related tasks for an entire week.
In conclusion, it is crucial for employers to formulate jury duty leave policies that aim at fairness of all employees. This is because employees are citizens thus have a responsibility to participate in the legal process whenever required to do so. As for employees who are not sufficiently conversant with jury duty policies, seeking the counsel of California labor lawyers helps in deeply understanding the matter.