Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Can I Afford Jury Duty?

It finally happened. I got summoned to jury duty. Almost everyone at work as been called, so I suppose it was just a matter of time. Before moving to this state, I was summoned once, but when I called the weekend I was supposed to, I didn't have to go in. I later received a notice asking me what month would be good for me to serve. Since I knew I was moving out of state in July, I put down September, and sure enough, that August I got a summons, only now I could say I'd moved out of state. I know, I know, I should want to perform my civic duty. At a previous job I had, the company paid you when you went to jury duty. A co-worker there said it was great - she just read a book and then got dismissed. Got paid for a day AND did her civic duty. Not the company I work for now.
I really wouldn't mind serving except for the financial hardship and the fact that I hate courthouses. Somehow I always feel like I've done something wrong as soon as I've walked inside one. I was a nervous wreck just getting my maiden name changed back after I got divorced.
Plus, there's the financial hardship. Unfortunately, they now put that you must suffer from EXTREME financial hardship. It's all relative though. It wouldn't be extreme if it were only for one day, but if I lost five days of work, then it's extreme. Also, I work four 10-hour days, with Monday off. So if I have to go in on a Monday, no big deal, but any other day is a quarter of my workweek. I debated the fact with my co-workers and everyone had a different way to try to get out of it, mostly not entirely ethical. I finally decided to be as truthful as possible. I'm going to put down that it will be an extreme financial hardship, and if they question that, then I'll have to go, but I'm not going to pretend that I can afford it.


English Major said...

I'm almost certain that if you are a full-time employee, your employer is legally obligated to pay you for days during which you serve jury duty. (Although it could be that that's just NY state.)

Bianca Bizarro said...

Yeah, I think it varies according to state. Here in California (and at my company) we don't get paid.