The Constitutions of the United States and the State of Minnesota guarantee defendants in criminal cases and litigants in civil cases the right to a trial by jury. Jurors play a crucial role in our country’s democratic process. However, serving on a jury can require jurors to miss work. One commonly asked question is whether an employer in Minnesota is required to pay an employee called to serve on a jury. This blog explains whether Minnesota employers are required to pay employees summoned to jury duty.
Requirements for Minnesota Employers Concerning Jury Duty
In Minnesota, employers must allow employees to take time off to serve on a jury. An employer may “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. However, Minnesota employers are not required to pay employees for time spent complying with a jury summons or serving on a jury. Nonetheless, some employers may choose to do so.
Government Compensation for Jury Duty
Despite the fact that Minnesota employers are not required to pay employees summoned to jury duty, jurors receive nominal compensation for each day spent at jury selection or serving on a jury. Minn. Stat. § 593.48. In Minnesota state court, jurors receive $20 per day and $0.54 per mile for round-trip travel between their residence and the courthouse. Jurors who normally care for their children or a disabled family member may be eligible for reimbursement up to $40 per day for non-licensed daycare expenses or $50 per day for licensed daycare expenses. If a juror would normally be at work and his or her children would normally be in daycare, daycare expenses are not reimbursed.
In Minnesota federal court, jurors receive $50 per day and $0.575 per mile for round-trip travel between their residence and the courthouse. If a juror live 60 miles or more from the courthouse, he or she may choose to stay overnight at a hotel during jury service and/or the night before selection. The juror will be reimbursed the actual cost of lodging (not to exceed the current government rate) and a flat per diem rate to cover meals and incidental expenses.