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Call of (jury) duty: What must we do?

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Q. What are California employers’ obligations with regard to workers who get called on for jury duty?

A. California Labor Code Section 230 prohibits employers from discharging or otherwise discriminating “against an employee for taking time off to serve as required by law on an inquest jury or trail jury” if the worker provides “reasonable notice.”

The California Division of Labor Standards Enforce­ment and the Department of Industrial Relations handle complaints about violations. A worker who has been discharged in violation of this provision is entitled to reinstatement and the payment of back wages and lost benefits. An employer that willfully refuses to rehire, promote or otherwise restore an employee is guilty of a misdemeanor.

California employers are not required to pay workers during jury service. However, an employee can use his or her accrued vacation time, personal leave or compensatory time off for this purpose.

Advice: Consider that not paying for time at jury duty could affect an employee’s exempt status.

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