Leaves of Absence for Jury Duty

Under Minnesota law, “[a]n employer shall not deprive an employee of employment, or threaten or otherwise coerce the employee with respect thereto, because the employee receives a summons, responds thereto, serves as a juror, or attends court for prospective jury service.”  Minn. Stat. § 593.50, Subd. 1.  Violations of the statute constitute criminal contempt and upon conviction, may result in a fine of up to $700 and/or a 6-month jail term.

An employee unlawfully terminated is entitled to reinstatement along with lost wages incurred for a maximum of six weeks in addition to attorneys’ fees.

Takeaway:  While an employer is entitled to a copy of the summons for jury service to validate the need for the absence, the employer cannot not terminate the employee or take any action, which could be viewed as coercive or a threat to continued employment.

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on May 3, 2012, in Leaves of Absence and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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