Proof of Jury Duty For Employer: Everything You Need to Know
In some states, the employer has the right to request proof from the local court system that the employee was summoned to the court for jury duty.5 min read
Proof of Jury Duty For Employer: Everything You Need to Know
The act of providing proof of jury duty for your employer is a very important topic that both employer and employee understand. Not knowing the rules in your state can have some negative impact.
Can a Company Require Its Employee to Provide Proof of Jury Duty?
In a short answer, yes, an employer can require proof of jury duty. In some states, the employer has the right to request proof from the local court system that the employee was summoned to the court for jury duty.
Proof of service to the court can be useful if an employee tells their employer that they will be on jury duty for the week if dishonesty is suspected. As an employer, you would want to know that your employees are honest and not doing other than what they are civically obligated to do.
In many cases, jurors are asked to report for two or more days to serve. If that happens, they may obtain a juror history report by request to use for payroll needs. All jurors are in charge of asking for the pertinent documentation for their employers.
Check your local and state laws to find out if you may ask for proof of jury duty from an employee. You will find the laws and ordinances that are in place that pertain to jury duty. It is important to follow these laws so that you are properly treating the employee accordingly.
If you are not allowed by law to ask for proof from your employee and are concerned that he or she is being dishonest, you do have another option. You can hold a meeting with the employee once he or she returns to work. This planning discussion will go over your expectations of the employee, which includes all paid time off and time spent in the office. This can be very beneficial for your work relationship and hopefully prevent further dishonesty.
The Dos and Don'ts on How to Deal With Jury Duty as an Employer
The following are some dos and don’ts on how to deal with jury duty and your employees:
- Do be sure to know the laws and regulations in your state. You should know the amount of paid time you must provide, which will vary by state. Knowing this information can prevent any penalties issued by the state. You must also be certain to let the employee know that his or her job is protected during jury duty. Know that your employee going to jury duty can have an impact on your business, but you will have to deal with it as it is a requirement by law upon summoning.
- Do know what you will do once the employee is gone. This will help you plan for future employees who will eventually have to serve. It will ease the transition and not cause any interruptions. Have clear policies in place so that your employees are well aware of the rules. This will help them remain confident while they are away at jury duty. You should also include a section in the company handbook on jury duty and how it is handled. Include the responsibility of the employee pertaining to jury duty. Have your employees notify you once they receive the summons so that you can cover their position while they are away. Also, be sure that you are clear that an employee who is appearing as a witness, defendant, or plaintiff is not covered under jury duty rules. In this case, he or she would have to use earned vacation time.
- Do know that you can also be summoned. If you are unable to leave work for any reason, you may be able to request an exemption. You will need to thoroughly read the letter that comes with your summons to see what you need to do.
- Don’t threaten to fire or intimidate your employees for serving on jury duty.
- Don’t be caught off guard. As an employer, you should know that at some point, some or all of your employees will get summoned to jury duty.
The Dos and Don'ts on How to Deal With Jury Duty as an Employee
The following are some dos and don’ts on how to deal with jury duty as an employee:
- Do tell your employer and manager as soon as you are summoned. There is no way to know exactly how long you will be gone. It could be one day, a week, or even months depending on the case. You will also want to let your co-workers know so that they can plan for your workload while you are gone.
- Do know all state and local laws pertaining to jury duty. You have protections as an employee, but they are different in every state. To be protected, know them yourself and be aware of your rights.
- Do know your employer’s policy before you serve. You need to know how much you will be paid for your time, who is taking your place while you're away, and what your employer will do to handle your absence. This will help you feel more at ease with being away for a while.
- Do let the court know if you have any issues. If you know that serving on a jury is going to be difficult for your finances, you need to let the court know. It may change their juror selection. You need to have evidence to back yourself up, such as pay stubs, your company’s policy on jury duty, and anything else you think will support your request.
- Don’t be concerned about being fired. You will not be fired for serving on a jury.
- Don’t be scared to ask any questions you may have. You have a right to know everything about being away for jury duty with regard to company policy or about how long the trial may be.
- Don’t wait too long to read the summons. In some states, you can postpone your service as long as you request it by a certain date.
- Don’t go to court for jury duty more than annually. You are legally required to serve only one time in a 12-month period. If you get a summons before that time period is up, call the court to fix the issue.
If you need help with employment law, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.