Can my employer refuse to pay me for time spent in court for a work related subpoena

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Can my employer refuse to pay me for time spent in court for a work related subpoena

I work in a jail in CA providing mental health services. I was served a subpoena for
an inmates criminal case. Today, my employer informed me that I would not be paid
for the time I am required to spend in court and would have to pull from my PTO
bank to cover any lost wages. Is this legal?

Asked on July 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless your employer issued the subpeona, it is not required to pay you for the time that you must spend in court, even if the subpeona had to do with a work-related issue. Since, it had no control over this, it is not considered to be compensable work-time.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer can refuse to pay you for the subpoena time, even an ostensibly work related subpoena, so long as the employer was not the one subpoenaing you. If the employer did not subpoena you, then they are not requiring you to testify; but employers only have to pay for things they instruct employees to do (since anything the employer has the employee do is work). 


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