The right to a trial by jury is a privilege afforded to every citizen of the United States of America, by our Constitution. Your employee has received a summons, which requires them to fulfill an essential role in the American judicial system: that of a juror. Through our system of self-government, we are all recipients of the privileges of citizenship, as well as the protection of our liberties and property.
Jury service offers citizens the opportunity to be an active participant in this system; however, in order for our jury system to work, courts and employers must work together to ensure that all citizens are available to serve on juries when called. To this end, the "Protection of Jurors' Employment" statute (Title 28, U. S. Code, Section 1875) was enacted in 1978. This act strictly prohibits employers from discharging, threatening to discharge, intimidating, or coercing any permanent employee because the employee has served, or will serve, as a juror in any court of the United States.
Employers who violate this statute are subject to the following penalties:
- Damages to the employee for lost wages or other benefits
- An injunction from further violations and an Order directing the employer to provide other relief;
- A civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation as to each employee;
- An Order to perform community service.
In this district, petit jurors are placed "on call" for a period of three months. Jurors are notified by letter one week in advance of the specific date that they are to report. In addition, jurors will receive reminder calls and scheduling updates via the AJIS system (Automated Jury Information Service). In most instances, jury trials last for only a few days; however, the judge assigned to each case will advise jurors of the expected duration of the trial during the jury selection process.
Jurors who are chosen to be grand jurors will serve for 18 to 24 months, but they will appear only one or two days each month, and they are provided with a schedule, so they know in advance what days they are to appear.
For your payroll records, an attendance certificate will be provided to your employee, listing the date or dates of their jury service and the amount of the attendance fee.
We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Your willingness to ensure your employees' availability for jury service is a great service to your country.