Does my employer have to pay me for being out of work on a subpoena?

UPDATED: Oct 8, 2010

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Does my employer have to pay me for being out of work on a subpoena?

I was recently subpoenaed to be a witness in a court case and the prosecutor said my employer has to pay my wages for the day minus my witness fee. My employer is saying they don’t have to pay me. We are headquartered in Albany, N (I am not sure that matters).

Asked on October 8, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Generally, there is no requirement that an employer pay you for your time spent in court, etc regarding an appearance mandated by a subpoena.  However, according to the following statute, such pay may be required under certain conditions: 

OH Rev. Code, Tiltle 29; Ch. 2939; Sec. 121:

No employer shall discharge or terminate from employment, threaten to discharge or terminate from employment, or otherwise punish or penalize any employee because of time lost from regular employment as a result of the employee’s attendance at any proceeding before a grand jury pursuant to a subpoena. This section generally does not require and shall not be construed to require an employer to pay an employee for time lost resulting from attendance at any grand jury proceeding. However, if an employee is subpoenaed to appear at a grand jury proceeding and the proceeding pertains to an offense against the employer or an offense involving the employee during the course of his employment, the employer shall not decrease or withhold the employee’s pay for any time lost as a result of compliance with the subpoena. Any employer who knowingly violates this section is in contempt of court.

Without knowing the specifics surrounding your subpoena its hard to speculate.  At this point, you should ask the prosecutor on just what basis they say that you are entitled to pay and/or consult with a criminal law attorney in your area.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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