personal injury - employment law - commercial litigation
The Law Protects Jury Duty:
Florida law prohibits an employer from dismissing an employee from employment because the employee has been summoned to serve on any grand or petit jury in Florida. Threats of dismissal by the employer are also prohibited and an employee who has been terminated or threatened with termination may file suit against the employer for compensatory damages such as lost wages, punitive damages and the reasonable attorneys’ fees spent in bringing the lawsuit.
A 1990 state court decision held that the state law does not protect employees who serve on juries in federal court, although federal law provides similar protection. The federal law provides for a $5,000 penalty for each violation in addition to damages for lost wages and other benefits resulting from any violation of the law. The federal statute provides for reinstatement of the employee. The federal statute also provides for the recovery of attorneys’ fees and court costs expended by the employee in prosecuting the claim.
The employer’s recovery of attorneys’ fees, should the employer prevail, is limited to cases where the judge finds the employee brought the claim in bad faith or the action was vexatious or frivolous.
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