jury duty

Can You Be Fired in Illinois for Taking Off of Work for Jury Duty?

Few things are worse than finding out that you are called to jury duty. Except for being fired for missing work because you are called to jury duty. Unfortunately, sometimes employers will try to pressure their employees into getting out of jury duty so as not to miss any work. However, because jury duty is considered a civic duty, most states prohibit employers from disciplining, threatening to fire, or actually firing employees for missing work due to jury duty. 

Notice Requirement

However, if your employer has a pre-existing requirement that you give notice when you are going to be absent from work and you fail to provide such notice, you could be fired for failure to comply with your employer’s policies. 

In Illinois, employees are required to provide their employer with a copy of the summons within 10 days after it has been received. 

According to Illinois Stat. 705 ILCS 305/4.1, “An employer may not threaten to discharge, penalize, intimidate, or coerce any employee who receives and/or responds to a jury summons or who serves on a jury.”


Most employees often have to worry about whether or not they will be paid for the time they miss work for jury duty. Unfortunately, unless your employer’s own policies state otherwise, most states do not require employers to pay their employees for time off of work spent serving on a jury. This is true in Illinois. 

Time Off Regardless of Shift

Illinois law also requires that an employer must allow the employee time off to serve, regardless of the shift that he or she is on. Under state law a regular night shift employee may not be required to work at night if they are serving on a jury during the same day. This cannot be used against them to take away any of their benefits or demote them in any way. 

If you are having difficulty with your employer allowing you to take off for jury duty, it may be a good idea to speak with the presiding judge on the case for which you are serving. He or she may be able to help guide you in the right direction and may be able to inform you of a local law that can help you.

Consequences for Your Employer

If your employer fires you or penalizes you in some way for missing work due to jury duty, it will be charged with civil or criminal contempt – or both. Additionally, your employer will be liable to you for any lost wages and benefits. In some cases, your employer may even be ordered to reinstate you. For more information, you can call your local court administrator or your state labor department and consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Illinois employment lawyer. 

Contact Our Deerfield Employment Law Attorney Today

If you believe that you have been wrongfully threatened to be terminated or have been terminated by your employer as a result of serving on jury duty, the attorneys at ST Legal Group can help. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!