Topic:
WAGES; LEGISLATION; EMPLOYMENT (GENERAL); JURIES;
Location:
JURIES;

OLR Research Report


March 29, 2007

 

2007-R-0305

JUROR PAY

By: Christopher Reinhart, Senior Attorney

You asked for information on juror pay, when the current rate was established, whether there have been bills proposed to change the rate recently, and how much the Judicial Branch pays jurors each year.

CONNECTICUT LAW ON JUROR PAY

Under Connecticut law, an employer must pay an employee his regular wages for his first five days of jury service if he is employed full-time. A full-time employed juror is someone who normally works at least 30 hours per week at a job that is not temporary or casual (but it can be a job through a temping agency if he has held that job for at least 90 days and works at least 30 hours per week). An employer is not required to pay a full-time employee for a day of jury service if the employee would not (1) receive regular wages for that particular day or (2) work more than one-half of a shift that extends into another day (CGS 51-247).

The state pays between $20 and $50 a day for necessary expenses during the first five days of jury service for a juror (1) who is full-time employed but not paid by his employer for a particular day of jury service, (2) part-time employed, or (3) unemployed. Necessary expenses include 20 cents per mile for travel but excludes food. A part-time employed juror is someone who normally works at a position less than 30 hours per week or who works on a temporary or casual basis. Someone who works full-time for an employer and part-time for another employer on a particular day is considered a full-time employee and must be paid by the full-time employer.

The jury administrator sets guidelines for reimbursing expenses

After five days of service, the state pays jurors $50 per day (CGS 51-247).

If it would cause extreme hardship, the court can excuse (1) an employer from the duty to pay a juror-employee or (2) a self-employed juror from the duty to pay himself. In this case, the state pays the juror his or her regular wages up to $50 per day for up to five days (CGS 51-247c).

LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

The $50 rate took effect September 1, 1988 (PA 87-385). Other changes have occurred since then, including extending from three to five days an employer's obligation to pay an employee's wages during jury duty (PA 91-160).

We searched bills since 2002 and did not find any that proposed increasing the $50 payments.

JUDICIAL BRANCH PAYMENTS

The Office of Fiscal Analysis provided us with the following information from the Judicial Branch.

Juror Reimbursement/Compensation in 2003

 

Statute

Statutory Per Diem

Court Year 2003

Reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses

51-247(a)

$20 - $50

$455,503

Payments to jurors for service after five days

51-247(c)

$50

$441,550

Payments of wages to jurors when employer's obligation to pay is waived

51-247c

Up to $50

$38,090

TOTAL

$935,143

CR:ro