What To Do When an Employee Has Jury Duty

November 28, 2018 | 361 views

What To Do When an Employee Has Jury Duty

What To Do When an Employee Has Jury Duty

It’s bound to happen. One of your employees will open her mailbox one day and see the red and white notice. She’s been called for jury duty. Although this is a civic responsibility, it’s also a headache for many employees and employers alike. The best way to make jury duty less overwhelming is to have a plan in place before the notice arrives. Here are a few helpful tips for creating those policies and staying compliant with the law.

Ask for 24-Hour Notice of the Summons

As an employer, you’re required to give your employee time off to honor her summons. Still, you can put rules in place to ensure the least amount of burden on you when her summons arrives by mail.

 

By asking for 24-hour notice (some employers even ask for 48-hour notice), you can guarantee that your employee pays you proper respect by giving you enough notice to find someone to cover her shift or pick up her work. You can then immediately open up the schedule to the team through your online scheduling app to find someone to replace her before you’re left in the lurch.

Have a Policy for Cancelled Jury Duty

Many times jury duty gets cancelled the night before the person is scheduled to appear. In these cases, the person may be left wondering whether she needs to show up for work the next day.

 

Your policy for whether a person needs to be at work if jury duty gets cancelled is up to you. Some employers require proof that the person did appear because their policy states if jury duty is cancelled, they’re required to go to work. Other employers are more lax and offer up a free day in these instances, leaving the choice up to the employee. And yet other employers prefer not to have the employee appear after going through the task of having her shift covered. The choice is yours but you must clarify what you decide before a summons appears.

Clarify Payment and Benefits Terms Up Front

One of the biggest questions by both employees and employers is pay and benefits, especially if the employee is selected to be on the jury. The payment standard depends on the state you live in. Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and Tennessee are the states that require an employer to pay employees serving on jury duty. All other states fall under federal regulations. If you’re not sure, talk to your legal team to find out exactly what is required by law for your business.

 

Benefits must continue during jury duty for employees as long as the employee is paying them on time and throughout her time serving on the jury.

Look Sideways

In these cases, it’s helpful to know what other businesses in your area are doing. Talk to your lawyer and to other business owners in your local network to determine what you need to do in these situations. Most importantly though, clarify up front to your team to minimize any questions and doubt come jury duty time.

 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

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