Leaves for Jury Duty

Under California and Federal law an employee may not be terminated for "taking time off to serve as required by law on an inquest jury or trial jury, if the employee, prior to taking the time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer that he or she is required to serve." Cal. Labor Code § 230(a). See also 28 U.S.C.S. § 1875(c).

Also employers must not "threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee" because the employee attended jury or scheduled to attend jury service. 28 U.S.C.S. § 1875(a).

Jury duty is an important opportunity for American citizens to serve our country. Because of this, it is essential that employers not impede on one's right to participate. The right to serve on a jury is mentioned in the United States Constitution itself via the Seventh Amendment: "In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law." The fact that the existence of juries was immortalized in the Bill of Rights shows the importance of juries to the founding fathers. Jury duty is so important, the law even mandates participation, hardship aside.

Without the right to serve on juries, society would be unable to ensure that justice could be carried out fairly. Juries are composed of ordinary citizens, and ordinary citizens are needed in order to try the accused or the defendant as peers. Without juries, only judges would have say in the outcomes of trials, and this is unacceptable because judges are government officials. If there is no method by which ordinary citizens can weigh the facts and come to conclusions of their own, then the government would be both orchestrating and deciding every case on its own.

Thus, when employers do impede an employee's ability to serve on a jury, they are interfering with the employee's right to be an American. Further, they are literally disrupting America's judicial system. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that employees be given their due opportunity to serve on a jury, should they be selected for participation. If you have been denied leave to serve on a jury duty, your employer has placed the value of your work over the value of your freedom and citizenship, and he or she has relegated the system running our country to a financial burden.

However, the law provides that you are not only allowed to take leave to serve on a jury, but you are also entitled to do so. And, you are to have that opportunity without so much as a repercussion from your workplace, lest the law be violated. Employees may file a discrimination complaint against employers who in any way discriminate against employees taking or attempting to take jury duty leave, and further the employer may be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Contact Us

If you have recently received a summons to participate in a jury but have not been granted a jury duty leave, or if you have experienced negative treatment or termination from having taken a jury duty leave at your workplace, contact the experienced jury duty leave lawyers at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. 323-857-5900. Ask about our free initial consultation.