HR policy: Time off of work for Jury Duty
On 6 October 2017
Posted by Chantal Mariotti
Employers are required to provide time off to employees to attend jury duty. Every once in a while, your employees will be called upon to complete jury duty and this requirement may become a conflict with their work schedules and your operational needs. As employers, it’s important to not discriminate against employees who need time off to attend jury duty.
HR Best practice: Include a jury duty policy in your Employee Handbook. It is a good idea to clearly outline your company policy as it relates to jury duty, and what the employees’ obligations are in this regard. For example, you may want as much advance notice as possible from your employee, in order for you to adjust work schedules. You may also want to request a copy of the jury summons which you can place in the employees’ personnel file. Your policy should include whether your company pays for this time off or not.
You are not required to pay your employees to attend jury duty; however, it is an HR best practice to have a policy outlining the number of days the employer will pay (as a benefit to the employee, if so desired). Employees may be gone for a number of days to attend jury duty and this means time off work and in turn, little to no pay. As an HR best practice, it may be in the employers best interest to pay employees for a certain number of days while they attend this civic duty. Your policy can help increase employee relations and improve company morale.
Make sure you ask your employee for documentation confirming that they are attending jury duty – If not, and if you don’t keep track, some employees go on jury duty more than once a year! Require your employees to provide proof of being summoned to jury duty. This will allow you to keep track of the number of days they’re off work and in turn will provide you written proof that they’re really taking time off to attend this service.
We can help you craft a jury duty policy to include or update into your employee handbook. Your employee handbook should include all of your policies and procedures in order to protect you and your company from employee disputes and potential litigations. We can help you craft a thorough jury duty policy that will outline what steps your employees should take to report jury duty summons.