I took one look at the headline here Juror Loses Job for Serving in Terror Trial – NYTimes.com. and thought, “They can’t do that.” Then I thought: “Can they?”
Benjamin Weiser’s piece in the New York Times pretty much answers my question, with a “no.” And he quotes the federal judge, Hon. Lewis A. Kaplan, presiding over the terrorism case against the son-in-law of Osama Bin Laden (the trial because of which the juror was fired):
My personal view is that the behavior of the employer is cavalier and — and I choose the word very carefully — unpatriotic.
And Mr. Weiser also writes:
The judge said that a federal statute makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge, intimidate or coerce a permanent employee in connection with jury service, and such action could make an employer liable for damages and other civil penalties…
No kidding, since, as Mr. Weiser says, “The courts rely on the good faith of citizens and their employers to do their civic duty.”
As it happens, I had a friend who was fired while serving on a grand jury. She sued her employer and settled.
You have to read this short piece to grasp the excuses given by the juror’s employer for firing her. This guy gets not only the unpatriotic boss of the year award, he gets the scumbag unpatriotic boss of the year award, a separate distinction.