Compensation

FIRST THREE DAYS of SERVICE

  • By law, employers in Massachusetts are required to pay their employees who have jury duty their regular wages for any work missed for the first three days of service. This is true of full-time, part-time, and casual employees.

FROM THE FOURTH DAY ONWARD

  • After the third day, the state will compensate jurors at the rate of $50 per day if the employer does not offer compensation. However, many Massachusetts employers do choose to continue to pay their employees during grand jury service. 
  • It is important that you check with your employer before reporting for grand jury service to learn what compensation is available to you. You will be asked about your employer’s compensation policy as part of the impanelment process.
  • You must also include information about your employment status and expected compensation, if any, on the Confidential Financial Questionnaire (CFQ) you received with your summons. 
  • For a more detailed explanation of the Confidential Financial Questionnaire and these compensation issues, please click here .
  • If your employer does not offer compensation after the third day of jury service, the Commonwealth will pay you $50 per day of service.  
  • If your employer does pay your salary throughout your grand jury service, the Commonwealth will pay daily travel expenses in excess of what you would normally pay to travel to and from work.  (For example, if you are employed in your own town, but your grand jury service is at a courthouse 10 miles from your town, the Commonwealth will compensate you for 20 miles of travel expenses per day of service, up to $50 per day.)
  • If you are unemployed, you can apply for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the first three days of service (not to exceed $50 per day), and you will be compensated by the Commonwealth at $50 per day from Day 4 onward.

ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION INFORMATION

  • Your jury service compensation is considered taxable income by the IRS. If you have any questions about the tax treatment of any part of your compensation, you should consult a tax professional.
  • Employed Jurors: While you are at jury duty, your primary obligation is to perform juror service. Your employer cannot impose any compulsory work assignments that would interfere with this obligation. However, you should always notify your employer that you have been impaneled and provide an estimate of how long you expect your term of service to last. The court will let jurors know how long they might be expected to serve and what the schedule will be.
  • Self-employed jurors must compensate themselves for the first three days of service, but will have the opportunity to discuss any hardship with a judge on the day they report for service. Upon a finding of hardship, a judge can limit the term of a juror’s service and/or approve compensation up to $50 per day.
  • A retired or unemployed juror can be reimbursed for travel and childcare expenses up to $50 per day for the first three days of service, by submitting a written reimbursement request form, which is available at the courthouse. Ask the jury pool officer for assistance when you report for jury service.
  • For information on specific situations such as self-employed jurors, out-of-state workers, and part-time or temporary employees, please see our FAQ page.

Reimbursement

  • Jurors sometimes ask if their expenses associated with jury duty, such as parking, lunch, or childcare, can be reimbursed. 
  • Only unemployed and retired persons are entitled to reimbursement from the Commonwealth, and only for reasonable travel and childcare expenses of up to $50 per day for the first three days of service. All others must bear their own expenses.
  • After the third day of service, jurors who are not employed are paid $50 per day by the state, just like all other jurors.

Unemployed or Retired Jurors

  • If you are unemployed or retired and want to request reimbursement, you may do so on the Confidential Financial Questionnaire. 
  • For a detailed explanation of the Confidential Financial Questionnaire and these compensation issues, please click here .

Additional Information

  • If your request is approved, you will receive your check within 14 days of completing your service. 
  • If you serve for more than one week, you will receive a check within 10 days after the end of each week.

Employment Issues

  • Virtually all employers in Massachusetts are required by law to pay employees for the first three days of jury service, except in very specific circumstances such as unpredictable schedules (e.g., part-time substitute teachers) or non-employee workers (e.g., independent contractors).

Learn Your Employer's Jury Policy

  • It is important that you learn your employer’s policy with respect to grand jury service compensation before reporting to the courthouse. Many Massachusetts employers continue to pay their employees throughout their grand jury service as a matter of policy. 

Additional Information

  • Be sure to give your employer the Employer Copy of your Certificate of Juror Service, which sets forth the law governing juror compensation on the back of the form.
  • If you have given your employer your Certificate of Juror Service and your employer still refuses to compensate you for the time you served jury duty, you may contact our Legal Department at 1-877-966-7469 or write to:

Office of Jury Commissioner
ATTN: Legal Dept. / RE: Compensation
560 Harrison Avenue, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02118-2447

  • An employer should not interfere with your ability to perform jury service in any way, such as giving you compulsory work assignments or requiring that you try to “get our” of jury service. 
  • Your employer cannot force you to reschedule your jury duty or use your vacation or personal days for jury duty, nor can you work a night shift while serving on a jury.
  • However, if you are released early from jury duty, you should report to work. Employees are required to return to work if they are released from juror service with sufficient time to get to work from the courthouse to complete their normal work day. Time required to return home to change into uniform or other required work attire can be factored into your time calculation.
  • If your jury service is cancelled, you should plan to go to work as usual. 
  • As soon as you learn that your service has been cancelled, you should notify your employer and report to work as scheduled. If your employer has made arrangements for someone else to cover your shift and will not permit you to report to work, you may contact our Legal Department for further assistance at 1-877-966-7469 or write to us at:

Office of Jury Commissioner
ATTN: Legal Dept. / RE: Compensation
560 Harrison Avenue, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02118-2447

  • In Massachusetts, there are no exemptions from juror service based upon your occupation or status as an essential employee. 
  • If performing juror service is a true hardship, you or your employer can request a judicial discretion hearing before a judge to ask that you be excused from juror service based on your personal circumstances. 
  • Similarly, small business owners for whom it is a true hardship to close for a day can request a judicial discretion hearing before a judge to ask to be excused from juror service based on their personal circumstances (See: Mass. Gen. Laws c.234A, §66 ). Ask the jury pool officer for assistance when you report for jury service.


Office of Jury Commissioner for the Commonwealth
560 Harrison Avenue - Suite 600, Boston, Massachusetts 02118-2447
1-800-THE-JURY (1-800-843-5879)