Jury Duty and Witness Leave

Effective January 1, 1987, Massachusetts passed legislation governing selection and management of jurors in all counties of the Commonwealth. Under the new system, jury service has been shortened to one day or the length of one trial and virtually no one is exempted from jury duty.

Jurors are to be summoned at least three months prior to the date of service and are entitled to one postponement of up to one year.

Employers are required to pay regular wages to those serving as jurors for the first three days of jury service, provided that the juror is a regular employee. Regular employment includes "part-time, temporary and casual employment as long as the employment hours of a juror reasonably may be determined by a schedule or by custom and practice established during the three-month period preceding the term of service of such juror."

There will be no pay from the Commonwealth for juror service for these first three days. On the fourth day and thereafter, each trial juror will receive $50 per day from the Commonwealth.

If you are called for jury duty, or are required, by subpoena, to appear as a witness, you will be granted a leave of absence with regular pay (less jury compensation from the Commonwealth beyond the third day) for the time necessary to fulfill these civic obligations, provided you were hired before receiving notice of such duty. If you are required to attend for half a day only, you are expected to work for the balance of the day.

The courts usually provide a record of attendance and compensation. You must send these to the payroll office in Human Resources as they are issued to you. If you are paid on an hourly basis (as opposed to salaried), you should record the hours you serve on jury duty on your time sheet with the appropriate pay code for jury duty. You will be paid for this time at your regular hourly rate. If you are salaried, you will continue to receive your regular salary while on jury duty.

Because the College is paying your full normal pay during the time you are on jury duty, you must turn over to the College the compensation you receive from the court. You should endorse any jury fee checks by writing "Pay to the order of Mount Holyoke College" and signing them on the back, and submitting them to the payroll office.

When an official College holiday to which you are entitled falls on a day on which you are required to perform jury or witness duty, the College will pay you full normal holiday pay without deducting an amount equal to what you receive from the court. You are not entitled to another day off in lieu of a holiday spent in whole or in part on jury or witness duty.

When you are notified that you will be required to serve on jury or witness duty during any portion of a previously scheduled vacation, these vacation dates will be rearranged with approval of your department head so they do not conflict with jury or witness obligations.

If you are on leave of absence without pay, you will not be entitled to any additional compensation from the College in connection with jury or witness duty.

If you are required to appear in court as plaintiff or defendant, you are expected to use vacation time or arrange for leave without pay.