The law’s pretty clear about allowing employees time off for jury duty. But here’s a case of extreme abuse of that right.
An employee was called up for jury duty. He starting serving on the jury, but was excused from duty shortly after the trial began.
Instead of going back to work, he pretended he still had to serve and kept taking time off.
Eventually he returned, but tried a similar scam a couple years later, this time by making his own phony court summons to show his boss.
During that leave of absence, the employer got suspicious and told police.
He was arrested, confessed to making fraudulent court documents and was sentenced to a big fine and some jail time.
All in all, he took a total of 144 days off with pay.
Courts take jury duty requirements pretty seriously, for obvious reasons.
Firing employees who miss work for duty or coercing employees to refuse jury duty is an easy way for a company to get its own invitation to appear in court.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no way to stop abuse of the system. You can ask for verification when an employee requests time off, normally by asking to see a copy of the jury summons. Also, courts will provide a certificate of attendance to an employee for proof that he or she was serving on the jury.
With employees who will go so far as to make their own verification documents, there isn’t much an employer can do, other than being suspicious and taking a close look at employees’ documentation.