The U. S. government and the state of Hawaii require employers to excuse employees to fulfill their service when summoned as a juror. Jury duty may present problems for an employer due to its unpredictability; you’ll rarely have sufficient warning when an employee is summoned to serve, and you’ll never know how long that service may last. It’s also difficult for employers to anticipate their need to find a temporary replacement to fulfill the missing employees’ duties. Should you consider hiring a temp? Are you required to pay an employee who is serving jury duty? Many questions arise when employees receive a jury summons. Here are answers to some of those frequently asked questions.
Are employers required to pay employees while they are on jury duty?
Jury duty is an essential component of our judicial system and an important civic obligation. As a benefit, some employers pay normal wages for a certain period of time to employees who are called to jury duty, regardless of exempt or nonexempt status. While there are no Hawaii or federal laws that require employers to pay nonexempt employees while serving jury duty, employers should be mindful of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements regarding deductions from exempt employees’ salaried earnings. It should also be noted that union employees may have specific provisions related to jury duty in their collective bargaining agreement.
Can an employee be terminated for not showing up to work because of jury duty?
Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 612-25 (PDF) prohibits employers from terminating employees because of jury duty. Any employee terminated because of jury duty may bring an action against the employer to recover lost wages and to be reinstated.
How can employers confirm an employee is serving jury duty?
When an employee reports for jury duty, the employer can request a valid statement of jury service or witness duty. This document is issued to the employee by the court.
What are the hours of operation for a jury?
The hours an employee will serve may vary, depending on the trial. Generally, Hawaii District Court hours of operation are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except State holidays. If you would like to know the locations and addresses for all of the district courts you can click here.
What can be done to replace the loss of manpower?
Since the duration of a trial is generally not known in advance, be prepared to consider different multiple options to make up for the loss of manpower and productivity. One solution is to reshuffle the responsibilities of remaining employees for coverage. If yours is a smaller company, where reassigning roles would be difficult, consider reaching out to a staffing specialist like ALTRES to fulfill your temporary needs.
It’s a good idea to have a policy in place in advance so that you are prepared if an employee is summoned for jury duty. Make sure the company policy is clearly communicated to avoid any confusion.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should first consult their attorney, accountant or adviser before acting upon any information in this article.