Order in the Court!

by Deborah Z Mark

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gavel

The verdict is in.

Jurors in the Jodi Arias trial have done their civic duty.  Murder in the first.  Sentence to be determined.

An entire nation has been caught up in the drama of this trial since January.  It has been the subject of countless news broadcasts, talk shows, and blogs.

And here’s another one.

Actually, I’m not going to talk about this trial.  I’m sick of the whole thing.  Aren’t you?

Jury Duty

Recently I was pleased (OK, that’s probably not exactly the right word) to receive a jury summons in the mail.  My first thought? “How can I get out of this?”

Not the most civic minded thought, I know.  Guilty as charged.

After determining that there was no way I would be able to wiggle out of my juristical duties, I responded.  Yes, I will be there.  Yes, I meet the qualifications.  Yes, yes, yes.  I’m a responsible person – I’ll show up.

Have you ever wondered what your responsibilities are as an employer or employee regarding jury duty in Arizona?

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, including jury duty.  This type of benefit is a matter of agreement between an employer and employee.  While federal law does not, some states require employers to pay employees who are asked to serve jury duty.  Arizona law does not require employers to pay their employees while on jury duty.
  • Arizona state law (A.R.S. 21-236) prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating against an employee for taking time off to serve as a juror if the employee, prior to taking time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer of the requirement to serve as a juror.
  • Business owners may ask to be excused from jury duty.  You must notify the court of the number of employees which you employ, and you must include a written statement explaining why your employees cannot continue to work in your absence for even ONE DAY.
  • Active service members deployed outside Arizona may also be excused.

Paid Time Off?

Employees are often concerned about loss of income while serving on a jury.  Jurors are compensated for mileage (currently 44.5 cents per mile), plus $12/day for every day the trial lasts.  Arizona provides a lengthy trial fund which provides for jury service reimbursement of lost income, up to $300/day.  Employees are required to provide documentation of lost income.  Employees are not eligible for this reimbursement if they receive PTO or vacation time during jury duty.

Company policy regarding jury duty should be addressed in your employee handbook.  Don’t leave it to trial and error – for help creating or amending your company’s employee handbook, contact your managestaff HR Rep.  We’re here for you.

And that’s the truth.

Info provided is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as legal advice. 

image: Kittisak/freedigitalphotos.net