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.