HR Hotline: When Must an Employer Provide Jury Duty Pay?
Q: I understand that an employer is required to compensate employees during their first five days of jury duty. But must an employer provide jury duty pay to full-time employees, if they are called to jury service on a scheduled day off?
A: No, not if the employee normally would not have earned wages on that scheduled day off.
For example, if an hourly non-exempt employee typically works a nine-hour shift, four days per week, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, but receives a jury summons for Wednesday, the employer has no duty to compensate that employee for jury duty on Wednesday, even if it falls within the first five days of their service.
Similarly, if a salaried exempt employee typically works that same four-day per week schedule, the employer need not pay the employee any extra compensation simply because they are serving jury duty on Wednesday, the day they normally have off.
Connecticut law requires that an employer compensate its full-time employees their regular wages for the first five days of jury service. A “full-time” employee is someone who works 30 hours or more each week, and who has been working in that position for more than 90 days.
However, the law provides that an employer need not pay an employee for “any day of jury service in which such person … would not have accrued regular wages … if such person were not serving as a juror on that day.”
In other words, the employee should be paid the regular wages they would have earned, had they not been called to jury duty.
Special considerations come into play when employees are typically paid on a commission basis.
While part-time and unemployed jurors are not entitled to compensation in the first five days of jury service, the state does reimburse out-of-pocket expenses, up to $50 per day.
Jurors who serve more than five days are paid by the state for the sixth day and each day thereafter, at a rate of $50 per day of service, but do not receive other reimbursement.
It’s also important to note that Connecticut law includes stiff penalties for those employers who fail to provide jury pay, who coerce employees not to serve, or who retaliate against those who do.
The law provides for treble damages and attorneys fees for the employee, in addition to fines and even potential imprisonment for the employer.
The lesson here: don’t discourage your employees from serving as jurors, and pay them for the first five days.
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