For our jury system to work, it is essential that the
courts and employers work in partnership to ensure that all Kings County
residents are available to serve jury duty when summoned. Without
cooperation from the local business community, we risk losing a
fundamental principle upon which we, private and corporate citizens alike,
depend. Cooperation from employers is essential to maintaining a strong
jury system. The importance of your participation cannot be emphasized
We wish to extend our deepest appreciation to public
and private employers in the Kings County community for supporting our
Businesses frequently benefit directly from our legal
system. The civil litigation system in particular is filled with a
variety of business-related disputes. These may include actions
concerning contracts, product defects, wrongful termination, malpractice,
and environmental issues.
Employers and businesses are encouraged to help
support the jury system by paying employees while they are serving jury
duty. Many people cannot afford to serve if they will lose their salaries
or wages. Far too many potential jurors have asked to be excused because
the loss of income would create a financial hardship. If together, we can
decrease the number of people claiming financial hardship, we create a
much broader cross section of society available to serve. This will help
create juries that are truly representative and reflective of our
community. By agreeing to compensate employees during jury service, not
only will employers continue to enjoy the benefits of the jury system, but
they will contribute towards its improvement.
The selection and management of jurors is governed by
the California Code of Civil Procedure. Jurors' names are selected at
random from lists of registered voters and persons who have valid
California drivers licenses or identification cards issued by the
Department of Motor Vehicles. The two lists are combined to create one
Master Jury List. One-thousand (1,000) prospective jurors each week are
randomly selected from the master list to receive a summons. The
summonses are mailed approximately 10 days prior to the service date. The
summons contains information and instructions on how to have jury service
postponed; how to request to be excused from jury service; or how to
notify the court of disqualification from jury service.
While employers have valid concerns about how jury
service affects their available resources, it is important to know the
steps that have been taken to reduce the length of service for jury
In order to minimize the number of jurors who must
appear in person and avoid unnecessary inconvenience to your employee and
to you, a 24-Hour Recorded Message process is used. This means a juror
is instructed to telephone the county number (559)582-1010 and the
extension listed on the summons for reporting instructions. The juror is
instructed to listen to the recording in it entirety. It will inform the
juror if the trials have been confirmed and certain sequence numbers are
ordered in or if the entire group is ordered to appear. It will also
inform the juror if the trials have been vacated and their service is no
If a juror is selected to serve on a trial as a sworn
juror, their term of service will be the length of that trial. Trials
vary in length, but generally last two to three days
Under the One Trial/One Day system, if a juror is not
selected to serve on a trial by the end of their first day at the
courthouse, and the judge has not ordered the juror to return for another
day of jury selection, the juror has completed jury service.
Approximately 80% of our prospective jurors complete their service in one
The implementation of one trial/one day jury service
has helped reduce the uncertainty of when employees can return to work.
The majority of employees will return to work within one to two days after
reporting for jury service.
State Law does not currently require employers to
continue paying the salary of employees while they are serving as jurors.
However, many employers including state, federal, and local government
agencies, have a policy which compensates employees for at least part, if
not all the time spent for jury service.
If employers do pay, they have the right to require
employees to remit to them the fees received for jury service.
Prospective jurors are paid the amount mandated by the State Legislature,
$15.00 per day and 34 cents per mile, one way for the second day of
service and every day thereafter. There is no pay for the first day of
service. "Service" is defined as physically reporting to the courthouse.
Days spent on standby service do not count as payment days.
When you have completed your jury service you may
report back to the Jury Commissioner’s Office and request a “Work
Confirmation” form to present to your employer. If you forget to obtain
the form before leaving you can call the jury staff at (559)582-1010
extension 5041 or 5042 and they will be happy to fax a copy to you
directly or to your employer. If your employer requests a daily account
of your attendance, you can pick up a form each day.
As the employer, you must allow an employee time off
to serve on a jury. The California Labor Code, section 230 outlaws any employer from firing or
harassing an employee who is summoned to court for jury service. The
California Education Code sections 44037 and 87036 protect teachers and students as well. Employers can also be
prosecuted criminally and face a misdemeanor charge if found guilty.
If you wish to view
the California Labor Code or the Education Codes, they are available through the California Law web
site located at
Then, follow the directions for finding the code(s) you are interested in.