Can I Be Fired for Serving Jury Duty?
By Gregory Thyberg on March 24, 2021
The United States justice system guarantees the right to a fair trial. However, while people may appreciate the court system, few look forward to receiving a jury duty summons. If someone is assigned to a trial, they could serve on a jury for weeks or months.
People serving extended jury duty may worry about the security of their job, but in California it is illegal to be fired as a result of jury duty. Victims of wrongful termination related to jury duty can work with Sacramento, CA, wrongful termination lawyer Gregory Thyberg to explore their legal options regarding filing a lawsuit and pursuing financial compensation for damages.
California Protections for Jury Members
Serving jury duty is an important civic duty, but more than that, it is a legal responsibility. As an American citizen, it is mandatory that people serve jury duty when summoned, or respond to the summons to ask for a postponement (which is only granted in certain situations). Because jury duty is a legal obligation, the state of California provides employees with certain protections regarding their service.
In the state of California, it is illegal for an employee to be threatened, penalized, or fired as a result of jury duty. Even though California is an at-will employment state, employers cannot fire someone for unlawful reasons, which includes retaliation for serving jury duty. If someone is let go because they participated in jury duty, a wrongful termination lawsuit may be filed.
Providing Notice and Proof of Jury Duty
It is important that Sacramento workers are aware of one potential exception to their jury duty protections. To ensure protection from disciplinary measures, employees must provide their employer with reasonable notice of jury duty obligations.
While the law does not specify a timeframe in which employees must provide jury duty notice, it is ideal that they notify their employer as soon as they have received a summons. If a worker fails to show up for work without first notifying their employer of jury duty obligations, they may be subject to disciplinary actions.
It is also legal for an employer to request proof of jury duty services. If asked, employers should provide a copy of their summons, or any other paperwork or formal communication from the court regarding jury duty services.
What Should I Do if I’m Fired for Serving Jury Duty?
If a worker is fired and they suspect that it is retaliation for serving jury duty, they should contact an employment law attorney as soon as possible. Most employers understand that it is illegal to fire someone for serving jury duty, so they are unlikely to state this as the reason for the termination. However, a skilled wrongful termination lawyer, such as Gregory Thyberg, can gather the evidence necessary to prove that the termination was illegal.
Depending on the details of each case, wrongful termination victims in the Sacramento area may be due financial compensation for damages such as lost wages and lost benefits. The state may also order that the employee’s position be fully reinstated.
Contact Employment Law Attorney Gregory Thyberg
If you have been fired after serving jury duty, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. To discuss the details of your case with employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg, contact our law firm online, or call (916) 204-9173 to schedule a personal consultation.