Do You Need a Jury Service Lawyer?

  • Have you experienced jury duty retaliation because you have served or are scheduled to serve on a jury?

  • Has your employer threatened your employment because you have to serve on a jury?
  • Have your employment benefits, seniority, or other status been affected by your jury duty?

The Jury Systems Improvement Act (JSIA) is a federal law provides jury duty protections for employees who serve on a jury in federal court. These employees are protected from jury duty retaliation and other adverse employment actions by employers. Illegal employment retaliation could include termination, coercion, intimidation, and reductions in pay, benefits, or seniority, or any other change in the conditions of employment.

Most jurisdictions – including Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia – have passed laws similar to the JSIA that protect employees who serve on a jury in state or local courts. If you were fired illegally after participating on a jury, the federal JSIA or a similar state law may help you get your job back.

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The attorneys at The Employment Law Group® law firm are recognized leaders in employment, wage and hour, and wrongful termination lawThe Employment Law Group® law firm represented a client at trial who was terminated 10 months after receiving a grand jury summons that would require him to serve on a jury two days per week.

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The JSIA grants employees the right to sue their employers in federal court and employees who experience an adverse employment action may be entitled to lost wages, reinstatement, other employment-related benefits, and attorney fees.

As with all legal claims, deadlines are crucial. The JSIA contains no filing deadline, though courts may choose to apply a general four year statute of limitations applicable to federal civil actions. Courts may also borrow the deadline from similar state laws, which could be far shorter, even less than a year or only several months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What jury duty protections does the law provide against my employer?

If your employer is taking action against you because you served on a jury or you plan to serve on a federal jury, the Jury Systems Improvement Act (JSIA) is a federal law that protects you. Under this law, employers are forbidden from terminating, coercing, intimidating, reducing your pay, benefits, or seniority, or any other negative change to your employment status.

If you have served or plan to serve on a state court jury, most states, including Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia will provide similar protections against employment retaliation.

Does my employer have to pay me while I am out on jury duty?

Not necessarily. You may receive a wage from the Court for your time, but for the most part, your employer does not have to pay you for time you did not work. However, this may be a complicated question, since your employer cannot lower your pay because of jury duty. If you suspect that your employer is using your pay to retaliate, you should contact an attorney to get a more detailed answer.

What if my employer is preventing me from serving on a jury?

Jury duty laws typically prevent employers from interfering with an employee’s jury service even before the employee has started jury duty. You do not need to wait until after you have served your jury duty to speak to an attorney about suspected retaliation for performing your civic duty.