LegalFix
Select your state

Employment law

jury duty

Most states require employers to allow employees unpaid time off to serve jury duty—and employers may require employees to show their jury summons to be allowed the time off of work. Federal law—The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—does not require an employer to pay an employee for time spent on jury duty. But some state laws require employers to pay employees for time spent serving jury duty.

There is no state or federal law that prevents an employer from requiring an employee to use vacation or other paid time off for jury duty. But an employer may not punish an employee for time away from work based on a valid jury summons. If an employee’s time away from work will cause an employer unusual difficulty (undue hardship) due to seasonal work demands, for example, the employee may be excused from jury duty—at least until a future date.

Most states pay persons who are selected to serve on juries for each day they serve on the jury and reimburse some expenses such as travel and parking. But a person is generally not paid for the first day they are summoned to the courthouse to determine whether they will be selected for jury duty. And jury duty pay is generally a token amount—not a replacement for employee wages.

Laws regarding jury duty are usually located in a state’s statutes.

In Texas, employers are required to provide employees with unpaid time off to serve on jury duty. While federal law, specifically the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), does not mandate employers to pay for time spent on jury duty, Texas law does not require employers to compensate employees for this time either. However, employers in Texas are prohibited from discharging, penalizing, or threatening an employee for serving as a juror. Texas law also does not prevent employers from asking employees to use vacation or other paid time off for jury duty. If serving on a jury would cause the employer undue hardship, the employee may be excused from jury duty temporarily. Jurors in Texas are paid a stipend for each day of service after the first day, which is intended to cover expenses such as travel and parking, but this amount is not meant to replace regular wages.


Texas Statutes & Rules

Texas Government Code, Section 62.001. Jury Service
This statute is relevant because it outlines the obligation of employers regarding an employee's jury service in Texas.

In Texas, an employer may not terminate the employment of a permanent employee because the employee serves as a juror. An employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, intimidated, or coerced because of jury service may file a lawsuit against the employer and seek reinstatement, back pay, and reinstatement of benefits. If the employer is found guilty, they may be subject to criminal penalties.

Texas Government Code, Section 62.002. Proof of Service
This statute is relevant as it addresses the proof of jury service that an employee may be required to provide to their employer.

An employer may require an employee to provide documentation to show that the employee has served on a jury. This documentation is typically provided by the court and is necessary for the employee to prove their service in order to protect their job and potentially receive compensation from the employer, if applicable.

Texas Government Code, Section 62.003. Withholding Wages
This statute is relevant because it specifies the employer's obligations regarding an employee's wages during jury service.

In Texas, an employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury. However, an employer may not withhold or reduce an employee's salary for the time spent on jury duty if the employee is a salaried employee and works any part of a week.

Texas Government Code, Section 62.014. Excuse From Jury Service
This statute is relevant as it provides the conditions under which an employee may be excused from jury service due to undue hardship.

An individual summoned for jury service in Texas may be excused by the court if the individual shows that serving on the jury would cause an undue hardship or a severe financial loss to the individual or the individual's employer. The court has the discretion to determine what constitutes an undue hardship and may postpone the individual's service to a more convenient time.

Texas Government Code, Section 62.110. Juror Reimbursement
This statute is relevant because it outlines the compensation jurors receive for their service in Texas.

Jurors in Texas are entitled to a reimbursement for their services. The state pays jurors a set fee for each day of service. The amount varies depending on the type of court and the length of service. Jurors may also be reimbursed for certain expenses, such as travel and parking, as determined by the county in which they serve.

Federal Statutes & Rules

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.
The FLSA is relevant because it establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. It does not require employers to pay employees for jury duty service.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that sets basic labor standards for employees in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments. However, the FLSA does not mandate that employers pay their employees for time not worked, including time spent serving on a jury. This means that while an employee must be given time off to serve on a jury, there is no federal requirement for this time to be paid. Employers are not prohibited from offering pay during jury duty if they choose to do so, and some may have policies or labor agreements that provide paid leave for jury service.

Jury System Improvement Act - 28 U.S.C. § 1875
This statute is relevant because it protects employees from being discharged, intimidated, or coerced by their employers due to their federal jury service.

The Jury System Improvement Act prohibits employers from discharging, threatening, intimidating, or coercing any permanent employee because of their federal jury service. An employer who violates this law may be subject to penalties, including reinstatement of the employee to their position, payment of lost wages, and other damages. The Act ensures that citizens can fulfill their jury service obligations without fear of retribution from their employers. It is important to note that this protection applies specifically to federal jury service and does not necessarily extend to state jury duty, which is governed by state laws.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) - 38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq.
Although USERRA primarily protects the job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to undertake military service, it also includes provisions for jury duty.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides protection for civilian job rights and benefits for veterans and members of Reserve components. Under USERRA, jury duty is considered a form of public service. While USERRA is primarily focused on military service, it also includes provisions that protect the rights of employees to be reemployed after taking time off for jury duty. This means that employees cannot be penalized or lose their job because they were absent due to jury service. However, similar to the FLSA, USERRA does not require employers to pay employees for the time spent on jury duty.

Avoiding Jury Duty Legally
While some see jury duty as an exciting opportunity to participate in democracy, to many, jury duty is a significant inconvenience. If you fall into the latter category, following the laws when avoiding jury duty is essential.