Jury Duty and Court Appearances

Jury Duty

An employee who is summoned to jury duty will be granted paid leave for all hours required for such duty, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s normal workday. Such paid leave shall not be reduced.* As a result, any hours to be compensated over the USPS and non-exempt TEAMS employee’s FTE in the UF workweek shall be compensated via special compensatory leave. Exempt TEAMS employees may adjust their work schedules as appropriate.

If the jury duty does not require absence for the entire workday, the employee should return to work immediately upon release by the court. The university will not reimburse the employee for meals, lodging, and travel expenses while serving as a juror. However, any jury fees paid may be kept by the employee.

If a USPS or non-exempt TEAMS employee’s jury duty does not coincide with his or her regular work schedule, the employee typically still shall be granted paid leave based on the total hours served on jury duty, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s regular workday. The employee’s work schedule may be adjusted to avoid accrual of special compensatory leave.**

Approval

This type of administrative leave is approved by the department. If an employee is called for jury duty, a department is obligated to provide the employee with time off from work.

* For example, if a USPS or non-exempt TEAMS employee serves 8 hours on jury duty and subsequently works four ten-hour days at the university, his or her 8 hours of administrative leave shall not be reduced to zero. Instead, the employee will be entitled to 8 hours of special compensatory leave:
8-hour administrative leave benefit (benefit provided to cover time spent on jury duty) + 40 hours physically worked (four 10-hour days)
= 48 hours for which employee needs to be compensated.

Because the employee did not physically work more than 40 hours, he or she is eligible for special compensatory leave (hour-for-hour benefit) for all hours over 40. (To be eligible for overtime compensation, an employee must physically work more than 40 hours during the UF workweek.)

** If an employee is scheduled to work a night shift the day before (or after) he or she is scheduled to report for jury duty, the department should adjust the employee’s work schedule so that he or she can have adequate rest surrounding the jury duty. Special compensatory leave would be provided in the event an employee’s work schedule could not be adjusted.

Documentation

A department may require the employee to provide proof of jury duty.

Court Appearance

An employee subpoenaed as a witness in a court or administrative hearing, not involving personal litigation or service as a paid expert witness, shall be granted court appearance leave, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s regular workday, and any witness fees may be kept by the employee. In the case of such court appearance, leave provided shall not be reduced. As a result, those hours to be compensated over the USPS and non-exempt TEAMS employee’s FTE shall be compensated via special compensatory leave. Exempt TEAMS employees may adjust their work schedules, as appropriate.

If the court appearance does not require absence for the entire workday, the employee should return to work immediately upon release by the court. The University of Florida will not reimburse the employee for meals, lodging, and travel expenses. However, any witness fees paid may be kept by the employee.

If a USPS or non-exempt TEAMS employee’s court appearance does not coincide with the employee’s regular work schedule, the employee typically still shall be granted administrative leave for the total hours served as a court witness, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s regular workday. The employee’s work schedule may be adjusted to avoid accrual of special compensatory leave.

Approval

This type of administrative leave is approved by the department. If an employee is subpoenaed, a department is obligated to provide the employee with the time off from work, unless it is for personal litigation. “Personal litigation” is when the employee is cited as the plaintiff or the defendant. In these instances, the employee should use vacation leave, compensatory leave (if USPS or non-exempt TEAMS), or leave without pay. A department is obligated to provide the employee with time off from work but is not obligated to approve paid leave.

Questions regarding whether the court appearance is for personal litigation may be directed to Central Leave Administration at 392-2477.

Documentation

A department may require the employee to provide proof of the subpoena.

University Employee Appearance

An employee subpoenaed in the line of duty to represent the University of Florida as a witness or defendant will have his or her appearance considered part of the employee’s job assignment and, thus, time worked. The employee shall be paid per diem and travel expenses but shall not keep any fees received from the court.

Personal Litigation/Paid Expert Witness

An employee who is engaged in personal litigation or service as a paid expert witness will not be granted administrative leave for court attendance. However, that employee may request to use vacation leave or unpaid leave. Employees who serve as paid expert witnesses must comply with the university’s policy and regulations on extra state compensation, outside employment/activities, and conflict of interest to include the provisions of University of Florida regulations.

Approval

Again, the university considers “personal litigation” to be circumstances where the employee is cited as the plaintiff or the defendant. In these instances, the employee should use vacation leave, compensatory leave (if USPS or non-exempt TEAMS), or leave without pay. A department is obligated to provide the employee with time off from work but is not obligated to approve paid leave.