Legal Alert: Tennessee Employers are Required to Compensate Employees for Travel Time To and From Jury Duty

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In an October 10, 2011 Attorney General Opinion, the Tennessee Attorney General opined that Tennessee employers are required to compensate employees for travel time to and from jury duty in addition to the employees' actual jury service.

The Attorney General's October 10, 2011 opinion was in response to a letter asking whether Tenn. Code Ann. § 22-4-106(b) requires employers to compensate employees for travel time to and from jury duty when the employee is not compensated for travel as part of the employees' usual compensation from the employer. The Attorney General opined that the employers are required to compensate employees for time spent traveling to and from jury duty regardless of whether the employee's usual compensation includes travel time. The Attorney General based his opinion on the plain language of Tenn. Code Ann. § 22-4-106, which provides that employers must compensate employees for time spent in jury service. Specifically, in determining that travel time is compensable, the Attorney General focused on statutory language that "no employer shall be required to compensate an employee for more time than was actually spent serving and traveling to and from jury duty." The Attorney General further relied on a 1978 opinion letter, which stated that an employee who serves two hours "traveling and sitting as a juror," would be entitled to two hours of compensation. Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 78-311 (July 31, 1978).

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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