Two Minute Money: Will I get paid for jury duty?

Turner Cowles
Turner Cowles

Welcome to Two Minute Money, Yahoo Finance’s new personal finance series offering quick explanations for some of the most important questions involving your money.

You’ve been selected for jury duty, and you’re required to show up. However, federal law doesn’t require your employer to pay you while you’re serving. The good news is you’re entitled to payment for your jury service.

If you’re summoned for jury duty in a federal court, you will get paid at least $40 a day. You could also get paid more, depending on what kind of jury you serve on. Trial jurors, as the name suggests, serve on either criminal or civil trials. Jurors determine guilt or innocence in criminal trials, and in civil trials they rule for the plaintiff or the defendant. Jurors get $50 a day after the 10th day of a trial.

Grand jurors, on the other hand, decide whether there’s enough evidence to indict a defendant. They get $50 a day after 45 days on a grand jury. Both grand jurors and trial jurors get reimbursed for transportation and parking fees and for meals and lodging if they have to stay overnight.

A trial jury is also known as a petit jury.

This is just how the federal courts work, though. State courts have varying policies on jury duty pay, and some states even require your employer to pay you while you’re serving on a jury.

The state of New York, however, merely “encourages” employers to pay workers their full salaries while they’re on jury duty. Companies that have more than 10 employees have to pay the jury fee of $40 or the employee’s wage (whichever is lower) for the first three days of their service (after three days, the state of New York will take over).

Money you earn for jury duty is taxable income. Make sure you claim it; you should file it on the “other income” line of your 1040 and write in that it was for jury duty.

If do you get summoned, let your employer know and make sure you show up. Jury duty can cost you money if you’re only getting paid $40 a day — nevertheless, you could end up getting penalized if you fail to serve.

More from Money Basics:

What is a hedge fund?
What is the Fed?
What is an annuity?
What is a robo-advisor?
What is an ETF?