2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Walls
AN ACT TO CRIMINALIZE THE ACTION OF TERMINATING OR THREATENING TO TERMINATE EMPLOYMENT BECAUSE OF JURY DUTY OR OTHER DISSUASION FROM SERVICE AS A JUROR; TO CREATE A CIVIL CAUSE OF ACTION FOR RETALIATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Any person, corporation, partnership, association or other entity who is an employer or the employee, agent or officer of an employer, vested with the power to terminate or recommend termination of employment, of a person who is a juror or who has received a summons to appear for jury duty, and who deprives the juror or person summoned of his employment, as a consequence of his service as a juror or prospective juror, or who asserts to the juror or person summoned that his service as a juror or prospective juror will result in termination of his employment, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(2) A person discharged from employment in violation of subsection (1) of this section may commence a civil action against his employer and obtain:
(a) Wages and benefits lost as a result of the violation;
(b) An order of reinstatement without loss of position, seniority or benefits;
(c) Damages equal to the amount of the lost wages and benefits;
(d) Reasonable attorney's fees fixed by the court; and
(e) Punitive or exemplary damages in an amount not to exceed Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00).
(3) Each summons to appear for jury duty must be accompanied by a notice to the employer of the person summoned. The notice must inform the employer that the person has been summoned for jury duty and must include a copy of the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section. The person summoned, if he is employed, shall give the notice to his employer at least one (1) day before he is to appear for jury duty.
(4) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person who in any manner dissuades or attempts to dissuade a person who has received a summons to appear for jury duty from serving as a juror is guilty of a misdemeanor.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.