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The Pilgrims may have sailed on the Mayflower and left England looking for religious freedom in 1620, but that didn’t sop them from maintaining and respecting the need for English common law, thereby extending it in the New World. Fast forward three years from their arrival, the Pilgrims authorized and approved the signing of the colony’s laws where colony officials then developed a decree stating “that all criminal facts, and also matters of trespasse and debts betweene man and man should be tried by the verdict of twelve honest men to be impanelled by authority in forme of a jury upon their oath.” On December 17, 1623, the jury system in the United States was born. It has since evolved to suit democracies in the land of the free but it still stands by the very foundations the Pilgrims built, when they arrived in Plymouth Rock. You may also see policy templates
The jury system, the right to be tried by a jury is deeply rooted in American culture and democracy. The United States constitution has the Fifth to Seventh Amendments that guarantees the right to jury trial for all criminal cases and civil suits amounting to more than twenty dollars. In addition, each state also guarantees a jury trial. When it comes to trial by jury, compared to England, Wales, Scotland and Canada, the United States’ standards is known to be far more liberal. In the countries mentioned, those who are accused of less serious crimes with prescribed punishment by law of less than two years in prison, do not get to be tried by a jury. It was said that in the 18th century, an English scholar was greatly disappointed to find out this difference, arguing that in English law, a jury trial was a privilege and not a right. At present in fact, an estimate of 80% jury trials worldwide happens in the United States. You may also like policy word templates
Jury duty is as much a civil obligation as it is a civil right. A citizen’s rights comes with responsibilities. Just like voting and paying your taxes, jury duty is an important part of maintaining the liberties, and civic infrastructure that most people take for granted. When you think about having the right to be tried by peers, the jury system would probably the best system designed and the one where people can look forward at fair and just results. All bona fide citizens are guaranteed the fundamental right to be jurors at some point. Everyone goes through it, that’s why employers recognizes the needs for jury duty policy. Lest we forget, the right to be tried by jury helped spark the American Revolution and was adopted at the Constitutional Convention in no time. You may also see types of policy template formats
When laws were being made, this had already existed and became the only right ever to appear both in the Bill of Rights and the American Constitution. Today, people only see a court summons for jury duty as nothing but a waste of time and an inconvenience. You have things to do. But the more important and probably impertinent question is, who are you to refuse? The law says you should, history says you should, in exchange of enjoying some of your civil liberties, the good citizen in you says you should, and frankly speaking, you wouldn’t really want the simple financial punishment a refusal of jury duty will yield, unless you can afford it, of course.
All citizens go through a jury duty as it is a public service you simply have no option to avoid. It is a role where you are required to act as a juror along with 11 others, in a simple legal proceeding. When you are summoned by the court for jury duty, you cannot say no. Failure to attend without a strong and legitimate excuse, an individual will have to face monetary penalties as decided by the local court. This is why the importance of a jury role in court is recognized by companies and employers, public and private. They are obligated to respect the government’s request for an employee or a person to serve as one of the jurors in the local court.
A professional employee is entitled to court or jury duty leave when serving as a juror or witness. The employee will be responsible in letting his manager or supervisor know so that he will be granted a jury duty pay and time off as part of his or her employee benefit, even if the said time off is mandated by law. While employers recognizes and respects a citizen’s court obligations, how they handle employee jury duty is largely up to them, granted there are no other legal requirements that the state or Federal government has mandated. Laws about jury duty services varies by state as well as the levels of protection and time off benefits a certain employer can give them.
Employers must therefore be well-informed about the importance of court appearance for jury service as a state obligations. companies must also be clear about the limitations of jury duty benefits when dealing with employees who are summoned for jury service. An employee called for jury service is sometimes dismissed. In case of early dismissal from court, the employee can report to work for the day until his or her services are needed again. The process usually involves the individual summoned to be a potential juror calling the office of the court the day or night before his formal scheduled duty. This is when the schedule to report for jury duty can be confirmed by the court.
That way, the individual would know whether or not he needs to inform people at work. This is why it is important to also be informed of the company’s jury duty policy. In the employer’s case, it is vital to set the general policy as clearly as possible and make sure the employees understands them in case they need to be present in court for the same reason. Most companies have the policy indicated in parts or section of an employee handbook. Others have a separate communication or document made for this alone, to emphasize its importance.
As previously stated, jury duty leave is mandatory. All states prohibit employers subjecting employees to dismissal, disciplinary action, penalty or punishment in any form, for responding to jury summons or serving on a jury. Unlawful punishments may also include security of tenure or seniority. There are however a few like states like New York and Pennsylvania that allows exceptions for jury duty policies especially for small businesses or companies where an absence cold incur strong losses in profit.
When and if the jury summons arrive at a time of the year when the presence of an employee is much needed so much so that there is a risk of a big financial impact otherwise, then the employer can write a letter to the court explaining the company’s situation and ask for a possible postponement of an employee’s jury service. This happens on rare occasions, but it is better that both parties understand what their responsibilities are to the law, should a similar situation occur.
The majority of states do not require employers to offer a paid jury duty leave, however the ones that do are growing, although, the basic payment still depends in the state law. In some, the employers may not required to pay the employee the exact amount he might have otherwise earned on the day he was due in court for fulfillment of his jury services. Paid leave benefits for jury duty also varies in requirements, depending on whether he or she works for the public (state, local or Federal government) or the private sector. Whichever it is, the employee should also bear in mind that he has the responsibility to give prior general notice to the employer when the court summons him for jury service.
Failure to perform juror service was punishable by law dating back to the 17th century. Under Colonial law that took effect in 1647, “if such person shall refuse to serve in, or take upon him any such Office, being legally chosen thereunto, he shall pay for such refusal, such fine, as the Town shall impose not exceeding Twenty shillings for one Offence.” At present, failure to complete jury service is a criminal offense with a fine of up to $2,000. Should you risk it? You may also like Policy Templates in Word and PDF
Jury service is the best way to show one’s commitment to the democratic government. Even Thomas Jefferson, third U.S. president and author of the Declaration of Independence once said, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” In the justice system, there are very few things more important to an individual than the right to have their cases tried and decided by a jury. Even though this may take away a significant amount of time from your regular jobs, and daily routines, the fact remains that once you reach a verdict on a civil and criminal case, then you are done. And you would have made a great contribution not only to your people but also to your country. You may also see guidelines for policy templates