Philadelphia Employment Law News

Are Employers Required to Give Jury Duty Leave in Pennsylvania?

Are employers in Pennsylvania required to give their employees time off for jury duty? As both employees and employers know, jury duty escapes no one. On top of that, miss jury duty, and you could face penalties like fines or even jail time.

So, while we know that jury duty is more or less required when you're summoned, what does this mean for those who have regular, working day jobs? Are there laws that require an employer to pay an employee for jury duty or just to allow them to miss work for it? Here's a general breakdown of jury duty law in Pennsylvania:

Federal and State Requirements

There is actually no federal law that requires employers to give employees time off for jury duty. However, most states have enacted laws that forbid employers from retaliating against employees for taking time off for jury duty. Many states also have laws that require employers to pay their employees while they are on leave for jury duty. In other states, like Pennsylvania, however, employers are not required to compensate their employees for the time lost to jury duty.

However, under Pennsylvania law, employers can't retaliate against employees for taking time off for jury duty. This means employers can't pull their employees' seniority positions, fire them, take away their benefits, threaten, or treat them differently just for serving as jurors. If an employer violates this law by penalizing its employee, the employee can bring a civil action to recover wages, benefits, and/or request reinstatement, if applicable.

Keep in mind, this Pennsylvania law does not apply to employers in the retail or service industry with less than 15 persons employed. Nor does it apply to any employer in any manufacturing industry with less than 40 persons employed.

Because the law is ever-changing and often difficult to understand, it's best for employers to consult with a local employment attorney if they have any questions about the jury duty law in Pennsylvania.

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