Requirements for Jury Duty

The law in Virginia requires an employee to give reasonable notice to his or her employer in the event the employee is summoned for a court appearance, either as juror, witness, plaintiff or defendant. Any person so summoned, except a defendant in a criminal case, shall not be discharged from employment, nor have any adverse personnel action taken against him due to absence for this purpose. Neither shall the employee be required to use vacation or sick leave as a result of his absence from work due to such jury duty or court appearance. Any employer violating these provisions of the Virginia Code will be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and will be subject to a fine of up to $500. The Virginia statutes also require that employers of victims and witnesses will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order to minimize an employee's loss of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearances.

Is jury duty paid or unpaid? For salaried exempt employees paid a guaranteed weekly salary, no deductions may be made for absences of less than a workweek due to jury duty, court appearance as a witness, or temporary military leave. In other words, if the salaried exempt employee works any part of the workweek, but is absent for part of the same workweek for the reasons stated above, the employee would receive their full pay for the workweek in question. Conversely, if the same employee is absent for the entire workweek, there is no legal requirement to pay the salaried exempt employee. An employer may offset any amounts received by an employee as jury or witness fees or military pay for a particular week against the salary due for that particular week without loss of the wage and hour exemption.

Non-exempt employees are paid for time worked. Therefore, there is no federal legal requirement (nor Virginia requirement) to pay these employees for jury duty, since this is time not worked.

Some employers may voluntarily choose to pay employees (exempt and non-exempt) for jury duty. Likewise the employer may choose to offset the pay with jury duty compensation or to allow the employees to receive their regular pay in addition to the jury duty pay.

In Virginia, no person who is summoned and appears for jury duty for four or more hours (including travel time) in one day will be required to start any work shift that begins on or after 5:00 p.m. on the day of his or her appearance for jury duty or begins before 3:00 a.m. on the day after his or her appearance for jury duty.

SESCO Management Consultants is available for assistance should you have questions about this regulation. You may contact us by phone at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com .