Do you know? Ohio has specific rules that govern how employers handle employees who are summoned for jury duty – Ohio Revised Code 2313.18.
Rule number 1 is simple. It is illegal for an employer to discharge, threaten to discharge, or take any disciplinary action that could lead to the discharge of any permanent employee summoned to serve as a juror, provided that the employee gives reasonable notice to the employer of the summons prior to the commencement of the employee’s service as a juror and if the employee is absent from employment because of the actual jury service.
Rule number 2, though, is counter-intuitive. It is illegal for an employer to require or even request an employee to use vacation time, or sick leave, or other paid time off for time spent responding to a jury duty summons, time spent participating in the jury selection process, or time spent actually serving on a jury.
Rule number 3 provides some relief for small businesses. If a company with 25 or fewer full-time employees (or their equivalent) has more than one employee summoned for jury duty within the same court term, the court must postpone and reschedule the service of the later-summoned employees.
Companies should take these rules seriously. Violations can be punished as contempt of court, and employees terminated in violation of this statute could pursue a wrongful discharge claim.