What Is Jury Duty Leave Or Witness Leave?
When it comes to job-protected employee leave, there are strict federal standards in place that prohibit California employers from refusing to grant leave for certain qualifying reasons or discriminating or retaliating against employees who request or take such leaves of absence. There are also job-protected leave laws at the state level, and California has established some of the most generous leave laws in the country, providing protections for employees that extend far beyond those mandated at the federal level. For instance, if a California employee is called for jury duty by the local courts or is subpoenaed to court as a witness, state law requires that the employer not only grant the leave of absence, but also protect the employee’s job for the duration of his or her jury duty. For more information about jury duty and witness leave in California, contact our knowledgeable CA employment law attorney at Davtyan PLC today.
California Employee Jury Duty and Witness Leave Rights
The state of California has established a jury duty leave law giving employees the right to take time off work to fulfill the civic responsibility of serving on a California or federal jury or to comply with a subpoena, and so long as they give “reasonable advance notice” of the leave of absence (unless the advance notice is not feasible), employees are permitted to take a leave of absence for such a reason without worrying about losing their job.
Jury Duty Leave Requirements in CA
All employees in the state of California are eligible to take jury duty or witness leave, regardless of the number of workers employed by the employer, which is one way in which this law differs from other California leave laws. Furthermore, jury duty or witness leave in California is typically unpaid for non-exempt employees, which means California law does not require that employers pay their employees while on jury duty leave, unless there is a labor union rule specifically requiring jury duty pay for employees. Employees also have the right to use accrued paid time off during the leave, such as personal leave or vacation time.
Jury duty leave laws in California also prohibit employers from terminating or otherwise discriminating or retaliating against employees who request or take jury duty leave, and California wrongful termination laws provide legal remedies to employees who lose their job for unlawful reasons. Under these laws, as a result of requesting or taking time off work to serve on a jury or comply with an order to appear in court, your employer cannot:
- Fire you.
- Demote you,
- Intimidate you,
- Discriminate against you,
- Punish you,
- Wrongfully fail to promote you,
- Wrongfully terminate you,
- Pressure you to get out of serving,
- Harass you,
- Threaten you, or
- Take any other adverse employment action against you.
Contact Our CA Employment Law Attorneys Today
Protected leaves of absence are an important part of a California employee’s rights and any time an employer fails to comply with the requirements of a leave law like jury duty or witness leave, it is a violation of California labor law and the employee may have grounds to file a lawsuit for reinstatement, back pay and lost wages and benefits. If your employer refuses to grant you leave for jury duty, or if you lost your job because you took a job-protected leave of absence to serve on a jury or appear in court as a witness, contact our skilled employment law attorney at Davtyan PLC for legal help. Our legal team has extensive experience protecting the legal rights of employees throughout California, and we can help you navigate the complexities of California jury duty and witness leave laws.