Do I have to pay an employee while they are on jury duty?
No. Iowa wage law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act do not require that an employer pay hourly non-exempt employees for jury service; however, a salaried, exempt employee’s wages may not be reduced as a result of absence related to jury service. Many employers do elect to pay an employee’s wage while they are on jury duty, and ask that the employee sign over to the employer any payments the employee gets from the Court for performing jury service, which is permissible under state or federal law. Under Iowa law, if an employer has a policy or past practice of paying employees while they are on jury duty, the employer must consistently and uniformly follow its policy or past practice. An employer is not compelled to continue paying if it communicates clearly and consistently that it has changed its formal or informal policy or practice. Iowa Code Section 607A.45 prohibits an employer from taking “adverse action” against an employee called for jury service, thus an employer cannot terminate or discipline an employee who receives a jury summons.
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