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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.

Legal articles related to this topic

Jury Duty in America: Your Civic Duty in the Justice System
Jury duty is a fundamental part of the US justice system, where citizens play an essential role in the administration of justice. This duty provides a firsthand view of the legal system and ensures that trials are fair and impartial.
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.