Can you be penalized by your employer for serving on a jury?

My employer offers an incentive for perfect attendance. Every 4 months is an extra day of PTO and for each year a cash incentive starting at $50 and then $100 for each year, ie, 3 years = $300, plus 24 extra hours of PTO. I received a jury summons and reported for that duty and have been told that now I no longer have perfect attendance and must start over after 3 1/2 years of perfect attendance. That doesn’t sound right. Is it?

Asked on July 23, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Penalizing an employee for fulfilling their Constitutional duty is a disgrace and in some states, against the law.  If you did not respond to the summons - which is mandatory and not optional - you could have a warrant issued and arrested.  What I would do is to check with the Department of Labor on this issue.  I would either call or e-mail them (from home) regarding your state laws that deal with jury service and what happens if an employer discriminates against you in the workplace by penalizing you for fulfilling your duty.  They will be able to steer you in the right direction.  In the meantime, continue being the exemplary employee that you are and keep very good records.  Good luck.

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