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Pay for Jury service Georgia

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  • Pay for Jury service Georgia

    Does GA have a requirement to pay employee's for days away from work for jury service? If so, can a limit be established, such as a maximum of 2 weeks pay?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I won't be able to say for certain till tonight, but I don't recall GA being one of the few states that requires paid leave for jury duty, and given GA's usual stance on such things I will be ASTOUNDED if they do.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Georgia state law does not require employers to compensate their employees while they are on jury service.
      Somedays you're the windshield and somedays you're the bug.

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      • #4
        Just to be clear, under federal law (FLSA) for Exempt Salaried employees only, there are Jury Duty related restrictions on docking the salary.

        http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR541.602.htm

        (3) While an employer cannot make deductions from pay for absences of an exempt employee occasioned by jury duty, attendance as a witness or temporary military leave, the employer can offset any amounts received by an employee as jury fees, witness fees or military pay for a particular week against the salary due for that particular week without loss of the exemption.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          Under Georgia law, it is unlawful for an employer to discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize an employee for attending court in response to a summons for jury duty. O.C.G.A. § 34-1-3 (a). An employer who violates O.C.G.A. § 34-1-3(a) shall be liable to the injured employee for actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees. O.C.G.A. § 34-1-3(b). A 1989 Georgia Attorney General's Opinion states "an employee is entitled to be paid his or her salary while missing work to serve on jury duty." (Op. Att'y Gen'l No. 89-55). A 1995 Georgia Attorney General's Opinion confirms that O.C.G.A. § 34-1-3 creates a private right of action against employers who violate the statute. (Op. Att'y Gen'l No. 95-13). The Georgia Jury Commissioner's Handbook states that jurors are to be paid their regular salary while performing jury duty. (http://www.georgiacourts.org/aoc/publications/JCH.pdf)

          In light of all of the above, an employer who penalizes an employee for performing jury service by docking their salary could be sued by an employee alleging violation of Georgia state law O.C.G.A. § 34-1-3 (a).
          C. Andrew Head, Attorney, Crowley Clarida & Head LLP http://overtimeattorneygeorgia.com/. Licensed to practice in Georgia. The foregoing does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as establishing or attempting to establish any attorney-client relationship.

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          • #6
            Is there actual case law that supports the notion that employers may not dock pay for the time that an employee is serving on a jury? If so could you please post them?

            I didn't see anything in the handbook requiring regular salary be paid. Can you point me to the page number? The only reference I found to pay was pay to participate in the jury process and that is limited to $50 or $100.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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            • #7
              ElleMD,

              Meaning no offense, and with apologies to all for not providing more pro bono research and briefing on this issue, I think the point of this forum is to provide quick responses to employment questions. If someone has a statutory cite or a URL link handy, all the better, but not expected or required. Here, the original poster asked whether Georgia has a requirement to pay employees who miss work for jury service, and in response I cited a Georgia statute that says an employer cannot discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize an employee for attending jury service. I also cited a Georgia Attorney General's Opinion interpreting the "otherwise penalize" language to clearly mean that an employer cannot dock the employee's salary for missing work due to jury service. Armed with that information, I think the prudent HR professional, business owner, or employee would consider seeking legal advice from a retained attorney regarding the legal effect of this statute and the Attorney General's Opinion in any legal proceedings that might result from docking an employee's pay for jury service.

              As to your second question, however, look again at page 8 of the 2005 Jury Commissioner's Handbook (footnotes omitted):

              "Jury Commissioners should be aware that it is unlawful for an employer to discharge, discipline, or penalize an employee who is absent from work for purposes of jury duty.30 Therefore, an employer may not reduce compensation for an employee who misses work to perform jury duty.31 Employers may, however, require employees to provide reasonable notification of their expected absence to attend jury proceedings.32 Moreover, Georgia employees who are penalized for missing work to attend judicial proceedings have a cause of action against their employers under O.C.G.A. § 34-1-3 for actual damages suffered and reasonable attorneys fees for asserting a claim."

              Hope this helps.
              C. Andrew Head, Attorney, Crowley Clarida & Head LLP http://overtimeattorneygeorgia.com/. Licensed to practice in Georgia. The foregoing does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as establishing or attempting to establish any attorney-client relationship.

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              • #8
                C.A.H. could you clarify a point for me? Are you talking about exempt employees, non-exempt employees, or all employees?
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                • #9
                  Here's a link re Ga. law for jurors re employment & A.G.'s opinion re needing to be paid their salary.

                  http://sca.cobbcountyga.gov/download...iaStateLaw.pdf
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                  • #10
                    cbg,

                    Betty3 has provided a helpful link to the complete statute and annotations including a summary of the Georgia Attorney General's Opinion. Thanks Betty3!
                    C. Andrew Head, Attorney, Crowley Clarida & Head LLP http://overtimeattorneygeorgia.com/. Licensed to practice in Georgia. The foregoing does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as establishing or attempting to establish any attorney-client relationship.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I took a look at the BNA payroll library (a paid service) and it matches what C.A.H. has said. Not anyone's question, but I would find it difficult to keep track of 50 states worth of state and local labor law without access to one of the paid payroll library services (APA, BNA, CCH, RIA).

                      Pay and Benefits
                      Georgia law does not address whether jury duty leave can be paid or unpaid. The state attorney general, however, has issued an opinion interpreting the law's prohibition on penalizing employees for service to mean that employers must pay full compensation—less any fees received for jury duty—to workers who take leave to serve as jurors.
                      Ga. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 89–55, 11/13/89
                      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                      • #12
                        You're welcome C.A.H. & thanks DAW.
                        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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