Many Arizona businesses provide employees with wages when they miss work for jury duty, but they aren’t required to by law. In Arizona, an employer may not discriminate against or discharge an employee for missing work due to jury duty. However, you must let your employee know within a reasonable time that you’ll be absent. You will receive a mileage allowance based on where you live, although trial jurors and grand jurors receive mileage plus a daily fee.
While employers aren’t obligated to pay most employees for their missed time at work for jury duty, an exemption exists for salaried workers. If your employer refused to let you miss work for jury duty, penalized you for your absence, or threatened to fire you for serving, you may need to speak with an employment law attorney.
Points to Keep in Mind about Jury Duty
- Your employer may not fire you if you miss work (with notice) for jury duty
- Certain employees are entitled to pay, even if they miss work for duty
- You’ll receive payment for mileage driven based on your zip code
- Depending on the nature of the jury duty, you may receive payment in addition to mileage pay
- Depending on the case, a jury trial may last for a few hours or months
- Your employer may not fire, threaten to fire, or otherwise penalize you for missing work due to jury duty
If you appear for services and they release you on the first day without selecting you for trial, you’ll only receive payment for mileage. If you’re selected, you’ll receive mileage plus $12.00 a day. The state of Arizona currently pays 44.5 cents per mile. Checks for jurors go out every two weeks.
Your employer must let you have time off to serve as a juror. The time you miss cannot impact your seniority rights or vacation time. When you get back to work after serving, you’re entitled to a position equivalent to or higher than the one you had when you left. Your employer may not require or ask you to use your sick leave or vacation time to cover your absence.
As mentioned, state law protects you from losing your job for serving jury duty, but it doesn’t require that your employer pay you for the time you’re gone. However, if you’re a salaried, exempt employee who needs time off for jury duty, your employer may be violating the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) by refusing to pay you for that time. Exempt employees receive salaried pay regardless of how many hours they worked in a week.
In some circumstances, you might have deductions applied to your salary. But, according to FLSA regulations, you may not receive deductions in your pay for jury duty as an exempt employee unless you missed a whole week of work. Your employer cannot make deductions from your pay during a week where you performed any work, even if it was much less than usual. For example, if you missed three days of work but went to work for two days, you’re entitled to your full week of salaried pay.
Lengthy Trial Compensation
As mentioned, some trials can last for months. As a result, Arizona legislature created the ALTF (Arizona Lengthy Trial Fund) to replace unpaid wages for jury duty participants who serve in trials that last at least six days.
How Working With an Attorney Can Help
Federal law protects employees who are called to serve as a juror on a federal court case. Your employer isn’t legally allowed to retaliate against you by coercing, intimidating, or terminating you. They also can’t reduce your seniority, benefits, or pay. But this doesn’t mean that they won’t try or haven’t already done so.
If your employer has subjected you to jury duty retaliation (by firing or discriminating against you), you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. They might be able to help you get your job back or at least take legal action. Similarly, if your employer has threatened your job or impacted your benefits or status at work due to jury duty, you may also need legal assistance. Our employment law attorneys are well-versed in wrongful termination cases and can help you with yours.
FAQs About Jury Duty
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding jury duty:
Q: How will I know that I’ve been summoned for duty?
Before anyone is summoned to serve as a juror, their names are drawn randomly from a list of registered voters (and sometimes a list of licensed drivers). Once your name is drawn, you’ll receive a questionnaire that determines whether or not you’re legally qualified to serve. If you receive this questionnaire, you’re required to fill it out and turn it in.
Q: Do I have to respond to a notice for jury duty?
Yes, you legally must respond to the notice and you may be penalized for noncompliance. Jury duty serves a crucial role for the justice system in America, so the law takes it quite seriously.
Q: Can I volunteer to serve as a juror?
You can’t volunteer for jury duty, and it’s up to the legal system to randomly select prospective candidates from the community in a fair process. Discrimination during this process is prohibited.
Q: Why haven’t I ever been selected for jury duty?
Your eligibility to serve as a juror depends on your legal qualifications and the random chance that they’ll select your name from source lists. Jurors are typically selected from a list of registered voters, but some courts supplement these lists with licensed drivers in the area.
What to Do if You Need Help With Jury Duty Questions
If you need help with an issue regarding your employer and jury duty, speak with one of our employment law professionals today. They can help you assess your situation and decide the next best course of action. Gathering as much documentation as you can for your situation is recommended. This may include written warnings from your employer about missing work for jury duty, along with any forms you received for your service.
Call our Employment Law team at (480) 464-1111 to discuss your case today.
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