Do we have to grant paid leave for time an employee will spend testifying in court? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Do we have to grant paid leave for time an employee will spend testifying in court?

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Q. An employee has been subpoenaed to appear as a witness in a criminal case. Are we required to pay him for that time, or can we have him take vacation time or an unpaid leave of absence?

A.
Generally, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employer is required to compensate a nonexempt employee only for time actually worked. Accordingly, an employer is not required to pay a nonexempt employee for time spent as a witness in a criminal case, even if the employee was compelled to appear under a subpoena.

If the employee is exempt, then you do not have to pay him for the day, assuming no work is performed that day. If he does work for part of the day, then you must pay for the entire day.

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