A Letter from Chief Justice Michael L. Bender to Employers
"Juror service" means the period of time during which a person is committed to serving upon a jury, from the time the person reports and checks in on his or her designated reporting date through and until he or she is released by the court or by the jury commissioner. "Juror service" includes any time that a person spends in the jury selection process and any time that a person spends in trial.
Compensation of employed jurors during first three days of service. All regularly employed trial or grand jurors shall be paid regular wages, but not to exceed $50 per day unless by mutual agreement between the employee and employer, by their employers for the first three days of juror service or any part thereof. Regular employment shall include part-time, temporary, and casual employment if the employment hours may be determined by a schedule, custom, or practice established during the three-month period preceding the juror’s term of service.
Financial hardship of employer or self-employed juror. The court shall excuse an employer or a self-employed juror from the duty of compensation for trial or grand juror service upon a finding that it would cause financial hardship. When such a finding is made, a juror shall receive reasonable compensation in lieu of wages from the state for the first three days of juror service or any part thereof. Such award shall not exceed $50 per day of juror service. A court hearing on an employer’s extreme financial hardship shall occur no later than thirty days after the tender of the juror service acknowledgment information to the employer. The request for a court hearing shall be made in writing to the jury commissioner. (Note: the employer must request the hearing no later than five days after receiving the employee’s certificate.)
Enforcement of employer’s duty to compensate jurors. Any employer who fails to compensate an employed juror under applicable provisions of this article and who has not been excused from such duty of compensation shall be liable to the employed juror. If the employer fails to compensate a juror within thirty days after tender of the juror service acknowledgment information, the juror may commence a civil action in any court having jurisdiction over the parties. Extreme financial hardship on the part of the employer shall not be a defense to such an action. The court may award treble damages and reasonable attorney fees to the juror upon a finding of willful misconduct by the employer.
Penalties and enforcement remedies for harassment by employer. (1) An employer shall not deprive an employed juror of employment or any incidents or benefits thereof, nor shall an employer harass, threaten, or coerce an employee because the employee receives a juror summons, responds thereto, performs any obligation or election of juror service as a trial or grand juror, or exercises any right under any section of this article. An employer shall make no demands upon any employed juror which will substantially interfere with the effective performance of juror service. The employed juror may commence a civil action for such damages or injunctive relief or both, as maybe appropriate, for a violation of this section. The court may award treble damages and reasonable attorney fees to the juror upon a finding of willful misconduct by the employer. Any trial of such an action shall be to the court without a jury. (2) Any employer who willfully violates this section commits willful harassment of a juror by an employer, as defined in Section 18-8-614, C.R.S., which is a class 2 misdemeanor punishable as provided in Section 18-1-106, C.R.S.