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This is a question specific to the US. In the US, we're required to serve jury duty once a year when we get a jury summons. Recently (or at least for me), instead of waiting at the courthouse all day, we can wait at home and be "on-call" and call the courthouse at a specified time to see if we need to go in. I didn't have to so I went to work.

One of my co-workers ran into me and asked why I was in the office since I had jury duty. I explained the same situation as I did above. She said I didn't have to go in since I had jury duty, even if I was dismissed early due to the courthouse not having a case for us to try.

Is this true? Even if we get dismissed early b/c there's no case to try, we don't have to go into the office afterwards?

Thanks in advance for your help/reply.

EDIT/CLARIFICATION: The day I'm supposed to report to the courthouse, I was told to call the courthouse at 12pm to see if I need to come in. The message said I didn't need to come in so I went to work afterwards.

Thanks for the comments/answers, I'll ask HR to see what they say but I also wanted to see what others have to say or see what other ppl know or have experienced.

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    Ask your company's HR department. This is a matter of company policy, not law, and practices may vary.
    – keshlam
    Mar 22, 2014 at 3:14
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about either law or your employer's policies. Either way, we can't answer that, sorry. Mar 23, 2014 at 2:58
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    Its really simple. If you were released from jury duty then you can show up at work. You also don't have to show up, depending on company policy, you would be paid for the day either way.
    – Donald
    Mar 24, 2014 at 12:54
  • @JoeStrazzere, thx, i hope my manager thinks/feels the same as you do. =)
    – Classified
    Mar 29, 2014 at 19:39
  • thx for everyone's comments and feedback. sorry this ended up being an off topic question. i thought this was a good question everyone could benefit from, or at least workers in the U.S. could benefit from. if i need to delete or close it, please let me know.
    – Classified
    Mar 29, 2014 at 19:44

2 Answers 2

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I suspect your co-worker was suggesting either a policy issue you are not aware of OR suggesting that you take advantage of the system.

No, you should not have to go into the office on the days you serve or the same day you are released. Usually an American company will pay for some number of days of actual jury duty (includes the waiting for them to call you up). Also, most courts release you near the end of the day, and most will provide a letter of your serve duration upon request. If you were asked to stand by on, say, Monday and then released during a phone call after 3,4 or 5pm Monday then you are no longer serving jury duty on Tuesday.

You would not be expected to return on Monday and returning on Tuesday (or whatever day after you were released) is reasonable.

The thing is that most companies might not ask for the clerk letter with your begin / end dates on it. Trusting you to let them know.

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OK, so this is an interesting mix of law and ethics.

According to the law - no, you are not required to go to the office on a day you have jury duty. There's a process for documenting that you've been and providing it to your employer. The rules are described here - Juror Pay in the US Courts site. The bottom line, however, is that Jurors are promised $40/day ($50 if it's 10 days or more). Companies often have policies, however, that cover the Jury Duty at your normal pay range, so that if you make more than $40/day ($40 day is $5/hour), you will get your full salary. This is subject to the rules and policies of your company and can't be answered here.

You can probably guess how much the value and mileage vary here - a waitress may go to work anyway, because the tips are not covered by her employer. A federal employee, however, may not go at all, as the full salary is covered as part of the job.

Then there's an unspoken set of expectations regarding being a working professional. Most professionals are typically expected to work 40 hours a week, but the real requirement is to meet long term deadlines and keep working at a certain pace that is expected to be not directly translatable to an absolutely specific set of hours. Most professionals can get a reprieve from some work obligations due to jury duty - for example, it's fine to cancel meetings, not put in a full day, be somewhat delayed in a response, and (if actually called to duty) be slow in getting work done.

However, there's an unspoken expectation that things like "timely responses", and overall project deadlines won't be substantially delayed by 1 day of jury duty. As a manager, I didn't feel so comfortable blowing off every email, text message and request for information when I had jury duty - I got the highest priority responses going, working remotely from the jury selection room.

Whether to be physically present, electronically present, or present at all has a lot to do with the context of your work, your commute and your work culture. So if the question is "jury duty was canceled at 9 AM - do I go to work or go to the beach?" - I'm not sure the "go to the beach" is the right answer in every circumstance. But if the question is "leave jury duty at noon and then work a full 8 hour day?" - the answer is "absolutely not".

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  • @bethlakshimi, thx for your answer. yeah, i was concerned with meeting my deadlines like you said. Luckily, i didn't work a full 8 hr day after going in, although, working on wkends or at night probably pushed me over that limit/hump.
    – Classified
    Mar 29, 2014 at 19:36

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