A federal judge admonished an Oklahoma-based company for requiring an employee to use vacation leave while on jury duty, calling the company's actions "contemptuous." (In re Heritage Propane, E.D. Tenn., No., 07-01, 2/6/07.) The judge ultimately declined to hold the company in contempt because the company guaranteed the judge that it had changed its policies.

Although the court applied Tennessee law, the decision is a helpful reminder regarding jury duty laws applicable to California employees. The California Labor Code requires that employers must permit employees to use vacation and other accrued leave for jury duty, but employers may not mandate such use.