As Texas residents who have been called to jury duty know, it just never seems to come at a convenient time. However, it is one of our responsibilities as citizens and it is something that we generally must do when asked. Many people who are called to jury duty have many questions about the effect it will have on their jobs. Can you be fired for taking time off for jury duty? Does your employer need to pay you for jury duty?
Under the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code, jury duty leaves are job-protected. That means not only can an employer not fire a worker for going on jury duty, but that the employer also cannot take any negative action against an employee for jury duty.
When it comes to pay, Texas employers do not have to provide pay to non-exempt workers, but they may have to pay exempt workers. If any exempt worker works any part of a week, he or she must be paid the full weekly salary for that week. If the worker misses an entire week for jury duty, he or she does not need to be compensated by the employer.
If they so choose, employers can opt to have employees use paid vacation or other paid time off for jury duty leaves as long as that is not contrary to any existing company policies or labor agreements.
If employers do decide to pay their workers for jury duty, they can require the workers to turn over the pay that they receive from the government for jury duty. The state of Texas currently pays jurors a small daily stipend. Some counties also pay jurors a small stipend, but this is not required. Generally, jurors earn around $30 a day from the state and local governments.
Source: Business Management Daily, "How should we handle pay while our employee is serving jury duty," Michael Fox, Dec. 25, 2012
- To learn more about wage laws in Texas, visit our Houston employment law firm's Wage Dispute page.