Financial Tidbits on Jury Duty
I have been on jury duty since March 30th (with two days off). What a pain!
I have to admit, it came at an ok time as far as work goes. This was by design, as I was able to choose the date that I’d postpone it to, and I deliberately chose the week after a major project milestone. Several of my coworkers with kids were out last week as well, so… hopefully it hasn’t inconvenienced anyone much. It is never a good time, but this certainly isn’t the WORST time.
Jury duty isn’t really the reason I haven’t been writing much, but it is a part of it. More on that a little later, I think. For now, here are some financial tidbits about jury duty in Los Angeles.
- Jurors get paid $15 each day, except for the first day. We are also reimbursed for one-way mileage of 34 cents per a mile.
- Companies must excuse you from work during jury duty with no consequence to your job. They do not have to pay you.
- You can usually get out for financial hardship reasons… if it actually is a financial hardship for you to serve. If your job doesn’t pay, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are excused.
- My company pays me my regular salary while I am on jury duty. There is no limit on the number of days they will pay, but many companies cap it at 2 weeks or so.
- I get to keep the $15/day. Some companies require you to turn over your fees if they pay you while you are out.
- Jury pay is taxed as normal income.
- If you aren’t assigned to a jury or panel the first day, you are done with your service. I think most people do end up getting assigned to a panel.
- There are no working water fountains and bottled water is $1 for 12 oz. This is really annoying. Of course I bring some of my own, but I like to drink a lot of water.
- If you are assigned to a jury, they MIGHT provide you with water or coffee. Today was the first day we were offered either.
- There are a lot of good cheap lunch places downtown. I’ve been taking full advantage of all my lunch breaks and exploring downtown. I typically don’t spend a lot of time in that area, so it has been pretty nice. The cheapest lunch is the one you pack yourself, however, I’ve been using my jury pay to have a lunch out.
- You get free admission to some museums downtown. I visited the MOCA a day or two ago.
Jury duty has been an interesting experience, but also a lot of waiting around. I don’t know if this is typical or just the case I’m on. I’m certainly ready for it to be over, but it has been an interesting pause in my usual daily routines.