Do You Get Paid to Go to Jury Duty: Understanding Your Compensation

paid for jury duty

When you receive a jury summons, you might wonder about the financial implications, such as whether you get paid to serve on jury duty. The responsibility of serving on a jury is a civic duty, and while it’s not typically seen as a money-making opportunity, most jurisdictions do provide some level of compensation for your time and service.

A person sitting at a desk, holding a paycheck in one hand and a jury duty summons in the other, with a confused expression on their face

Compensation for jury duty varies widely depending on the court system—federal, state, or local—and its location. It often includes a nominal fee for each day you serve, which is generally intended to cover basic expenses like transportation and meals rather than act as a wage replacement. Some private employers also offer paid leave for employees serving on a jury, which can alleviate the financial burden.

Understanding your rights and what to expect in terms of compensation can help you prepare for jury duty. Knowing your jurisdiction’s policies on jury duty pay and employer compensation requirements can ensure that your civic participation is not unduly stressful on your personal finances.

Understanding Jury Duty

A courtroom scene with a judge, jury, and witness stand. A sign reads "Jury Duty" and a person is asking about payment

Jury duty is a civic responsibility that you may be called upon to fulfill. It requires your participation in the judicial process, often involving deciding the outcome of a trial. The process is composed of distinct stages, including understanding what jury duty is, the selection process, and the obligation of attending when summoned.

What Is Jury Duty?

Jury duty is your service as a member of a jury in a court of law. You, as a citizen, could be randomly selected to serve on a jury, where you will be involved in making decisions that have legal consequences. The fundamental premise behind jury duty is that peers can provide a fair and impartial verdict, be it in a criminal or civil case.

Jury Selection Process

When summoned for jury duty, you’ll go through the jury selection process, which varies by jurisdiction but generally follows similar steps:

  1. Receiving Jury Summons: An official document will inform you of your selection and provide details about where and when to appear.
  2. Voir Dire: This is the questioning phase where attorneys assess the eligibility of potential jurors to identify any biases.
  3. Selection: Ultimately, you might be chosen to serve on a jury based on the answers you provide during Voir Dire.

Civil Obligation and Attendance

Attending jury duty when summoned is not only a civil obligation but also a legal one. If you’re chosen to serve on a jury, your attendance is mandatory unless you are deemed ineligible or excused for specific reasons. Some employers are required by law to pay their employees during their time on jury service, but this can vary widely depending on the state’s legislation.

Remember, serving on a jury is a significant contribution to the justice system, and your participation is a cornerstone of democratic society.

Jury Duty Compensation Basics

A person receiving a check with "Jury Duty Compensation" written on it, surrounded by a calendar, a courthouse, and a gavel

In the United States, serving on a jury is a civic duty, but it doesn’t leave you uncompensated. Here, you’ll find out how federal and state laws impact your payment and what kind of reimbursement you can expect for your service.

Federal and State Laws

Under federal law, if you serve on a federal jury, you’re entitled to a daily attendance fee of $50, which may be higher in some cases, like for grand jury service or extended trials. This fee is set by the Judiciary Appropriations Act and is subject to periodic adjustments. State laws vary considerably, so compensation can differ based on where you serve. Some states only pay a nominal fee, while others try to match a portion of your daily wage. To understand your specific compensation rights, you will need to refer to the legislation applicable in the state where you’re called to serve.

Payment and Reimbursement

When on jury duty, you are not paid your regular salary, but you can expect to receive a stipend to cover basic expenses. This payment usually includes a small fee for each day of service and may also cover transportation and meals. For example, some courts offer a mileage reimbursement for travel to and from the courthouse. In addition to this, your employer may or may not pay you your regular wages during this time – some states require it, while in others, it’s at the employer’s discretion. Be sure to check your state’s jury duty compensation laws for the specifics on employer obligations. It’s also advisable to keep all receipts from incurred expenses as they may be necessary for reimbursement claims.

Employer Obligations

As an employer, you’re faced with navigating the complexities of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and managing your workforce effectively when employees are absent due to jury duty. It’s essential to understand your responsibilities in these situations to ensure compliance with the law and to maintain a fair workplace.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Compliance

The FLSA: It does not require you to pay employees for time not worked, such as jury duty. However, some states and local laws have specific requirements for jury duty pay. It’s important to check your state’s legislation because you might be required to pay your employee their regular wages during their jury service. If this is the case, document any jury duty pay as separate from regular wages to maintain clear records.

Handling Employee Absence

Absences for Jury Duty: When your employees are summoned for jury duty, there’s a clear expectation that as an employer, you will grant them the necessary time off. While the FLSA doesn’t mandate payment for this time, it is illegal to penalize or terminate employees for fulfilling their civic duty. Be proactive by creating a sound policy for handling absence due to jury duty, which could include:

  • Communicating with your human resources team to ensure that absences are tracked accurately.
  • Informing your supervisor or manager about potential disruptions to ensure seamless business operations.
  • Discussing with your employee about their expected jury duty timeframe and any flexibility that may be required from both sides.

Remember, your employees look to you to uphold their rights and benefits, including those pertaining to jury duty. Your compliance with the FLSA and handling of their absence is not only a legal matter but one that can significantly influence workplace morale and employer-employee trust.

Employee Rights and Protections

When you are called for jury service, it’s important to understand your rights and protections with regard to employment. Various laws ensure you can perform this civic duty without losing regular pay or putting your job at risk.

Paid Time Off and Leave Laws

Your entitlement to paid time off for jury duty varies by state. Some states require employers to pay their employees for at least part of the time spent on jury service. However, this is not a federal mandate. Jury duty leave laws can offer paid leave or unpaid leave, but your employer may not require you to use your personal leave days for jury service. In many instances, if your company offers paid time off, it includes provisions for jury service.

Penalties for Employer Non-Compliance

Should an employer fail to comply with state jury duty laws, they can face significant penalties. The labor department in your state can enforce these laws, which often include fines or legal action. It’s unlawful for an employer to fire, demote, or penalize you in any way for taking time off to fulfill your jury duty obligations. If you encounter such issues, you may be eligible for restitution, including reinstatement to your former position, and in some cases, back pay for the time missed.

Impact of Jury Duty on Employment

When summoned for jury duty, you may wonder how your time away will affect your job and income. Employers have differing policies regarding jury service, which can impact your employment benefits and require clear communication.

Absence Management and Benefits

Managing Absence: Your employer is typically required to allow you the time off for jury duty. However, the approach to managing this absence varies. Some employers may offer jury duty pay which is often a portion of your regular income, while others may count the time as unpaid leave.

  • Benefits Continuation: Benefits like health insurance usually continue unchanged during jury service. It’s critical to check with your human resources (HR) department to understand your company’s policy.
  • Using Paid Leave: In some cases, you might choose, or be required, to use sick leave or vacation time to cover your absence. Clarify with your employer if this is permissible and how it might affect your benefits.

Communication with Employers

Before Jury Duty:

  • Notify Promptly: Inform your employer as soon as you receive a jury summons. This allows them to prepare for your absence and helps ensure your employment rights are protected.
  • Provide Documentation: Supply your employer with the jury summons as proof of the need for time off.

During Jury Duty:

  • Regular Updates: Keep communication lines open with your employer, providing regular updates on the length of your service. This helps with workforce planning and reduces the operational impact of your absence.

After Jury Duty:

  • Return to Work: Confirm your return date with your employer, and understand any requirements or documentation they may need, such as a jury duty certification.

By maintaining open lines of communication and understanding your employer’s policies, you can fulfill your civic duty with a clear understanding of how jury service affects your employment and income.

State-Specific Jury Duty Regulations

A person receiving a check in the mail with "Jury Duty Pay" written on it, with a state-specific logo in the corner

When you are called for jury duty, the policies dictating compensation and employment protection are not uniform across the United States; they vary significantly by state. It’s essential to be aware of the specific laws and regulations for your state to understand your rights and what you can expect in terms of payment.

Variations by State

  • Alabama: You may receive a nominal fee for your service, such as $10-$50 per day.
  • Arizona: Employees are guaranteed their regular wages during jury service; more details can be found in the Jury Reforms in Arizona publication.
  • Arkansas: The state provides a small compensation for your time, typically a few dollars per day.
  • California: You may be paid $15 per day from the second day of service onward.
  • Colorado: The state provides jurors with a payment of $50 from the fourth day of service.
  • Connecticut: You are compensated at a rate of $50 per day.
  • Florida: Jury compensation specifics are outlined in the context of civil jury rights in the Federalism and the state civil jury rights article.
  • Georgia: Daily compensation rates can vary.
  • Indiana: The state pays a stipend that varies by county.
  • Louisiana: Compensation for jury duty can take various forms and may depend on local government decisions.
  • Massachusetts: Jurors are paid $50 per day starting on the fourth day.
  • Mississippi: Payment is typically a nominal fee per day.
  • Missouri: Jurors are paid around $6-$25 per day based on the county.
  • Nebraska: Daily compensation is provided, usually around $35 per day.
  • Nevada: Employees receive $40 per day for service starting on the second day.
  • New Mexico: Pay rates can differ, though the state minimum is about $6.50 per day.
  • New York: Jurors are paid $40 per day after the first day of service.
  • Ohio: Jury duty pay varies by county with some paying around $20 per day.
  • Oklahoma: Compensation is often provided at a rate of $20 per day.
  • Tennessee: The compensation may be around $10 for each day served.
  • Utah: Daily jury pay rates are roughly $18.50.
  • Vermont: Jurors may receive around $30 per day.
  • Virginia: Jurors can earn about $30 per day.

Each state has the latitude to determine the specifics of jury duty pay, with some offering more generous compensation than others. Additionally, local governments may implement particular statutes affecting jury duty, so it’s crucial to consult your state’s government website or local courthouse for the exact details of jury duty regulations and compensation where you serve.

Financial Considerations for Jurors

Jurors receive payment for jury duty. Show a check or cash being handed to a juror by a court official

When serving as a juror, you’ll encounter various financial aspects that you need to be aware of. From the pay you may receive for your service to reimbursable expenses, understanding these factors helps ensure you are financially prepared for the duration of the trial.

Jury Duty Pay and Transportation Fees

Jury Duty Pay: It’s important to know that while you serve on jury duty, you are typically entitled to a small daily stipend. This jury duty pay serves as compensation for your time and effort. However, the exact amount can vary by jurisdiction, so check with your local court for specifics.

  • Federal Jurors: As a starting point, federal jurors generally receive a set rate per day.
  • State/Local Jurors: Payment rates can differ for state or local courts, sometimes depending on the trial’s length.

Transportation Fees: Most jurisdictions also offer a mileage reimbursement for your travel to and from the courthouse. Remember to keep track of your:

  • Miles traveled
  • Parking fees
  • Any other transportation costs
Expense TypeCoverageNote
MileageYes (Per Mile)Check court’s rate
ParkingOften ReimbursedKeep parking receipts
Public TransitUsually CoveredKeep tickets or passes

Tracking Expenses and Reimbursement

As you accrue expenses during jury duty, keeping a detailed record is crucial for reimbursement. Here’s how to manage your expenses and reimbursement:

  1. Save All Receipts: Whether it’s for parking, public transit, or meals (if applicable), always retain receipts.
  2. Follow Court Guidelines: Submit your expense report according to the court’s process, which may have specific forms or deadlines.


  • Timeliness is Key: Submit expenses promptly to avoid delays in reimbursement.
  • Accuracy Matters: Ensure details on your expense report are accurate to prevent any issues.

Resources for Jurors

When you receive a jury summons, know that various resources are available to ease your experience. The government provides support, answering common questions to assist you throughout the process.

Government and State Resources

Federal Government: The federal government ensures that jurors are compensated for their time, although this is a modest amount compared to your usual income. Specific details about juror pay and reimbursement can typically be found on official government websites or in the juror information provided to you.

  • State: Each state has distinct policies regarding juror compensation and resources. You may find variations in pay rates and reimbursement for expenses like travel.
StateResourceCompensationContact Information
(Your State)Local Court WebsiteStipulated per diem rateProvided in jury summons

For detailed information on what you can expect in terms of compensation and support during your jury service, check your state’s judicial branch website.

Questions and Support

Jury service involves various stakeholders including human resources, attorneys, and former jurors who often contribute insights into the jury process. If you have questions about jury duty, or need support during your service, there are several avenues available:

  • Questions for Attorneys: In a courtroom setting, you’ll be instructed on what types of questions you can ask and when you can ask them. If your question relates to the trial, direct it as instructed during the proceedings.

Support Networks:

  • Human Resources: Your employer may provide paid leave for jury duty, and it’s vital to understand your company’s policy.
  • Previous Jurors: Many jurisdictions offer resources where you can hear from or interact with individuals who have previously served jury duty to set realistic expectations.

Remember, serving on a jury is a significant civic duty, and there is a wealth of resources and support to guide you through the process. If any part of the process is unclear, do not hesitate to reach out to the appropriate contacts provided with your jury summons.

Jury Duty for Special Populations

When you’re called for jury duty, it’s important to know that accommodations are available for individuals with disabilities, and different considerations apply if you’re self-employed. Your needs in these circumstances are recognized in the jury duty system.

Accommodations for Disabilities

If you have a disability, court systems provide necessary services and accommodations to enable your participation in jury duty. This may include sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, or accessible facilities. You’ll need to notify the court in advance about your specific needs so that these accommodations can be arranged.

Considerations for Self-Employed Individuals

For self-employed individuals, serving on a jury can have a significant impact since you might not have an alternative source of income while serving. Although some jurisdictions offer a daily stipend for jury duty, this compensation is often minimal and may not cover your usual earnings. It’s crucial to check if you can apply for a deferral or exemption based on financial hardship as a result of your self-employment status.

Avoiding and Addressing Jury Duty Scams

Jury duty scams exploit your civic duties to commit fraud. Be vigilant about recognizing fraudulent communications and steadfast in protecting your personal information.

Recognizing Fraudulent Communications

Identify the red flags: Scammers often pose as court officials and may contact you via phone, email, or mail. Key indicators of a scam include requests for payment for failing to appear for jury duty, requests for sensitive personal details like Social Security numbers, or threats of arrest. Official jury duty notifications will never request such actions or information. If you suspect a scam, verify the communication by contacting your local court directly using contact information from an official website or directory, not the details provided in the suspicious communication.

Reporting and Protecting Personal Information

Reporting a scam swiftly is critical. Contact the appropriate authorities to report the incident: this may include your local court’s jury services office, the state attorney general, or the Federal Trade Commission through their Complaint Assistant. To safeguard your personal information, never share it over unsolicited calls or messages claiming to be related to jury duty. Use secure methods when transmitting personal data, such as official court websites, and always ensure any jury duty portal you access is legitimate.

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