ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Senate has passed a measure that would prohibit an employer from requiring an employee to return to work on a day when called to jury duty.

The Senate passed the bill on a 26-20 vote Monday night.

Sen. Allan Kittleman, R-Howard, says he could understand following Virginia law, which prohibits an employer from forcing an employee to return to work, if they have spent four hours at jury duty. But he says under this bill, an employee could be exempt from going back to work for spending just 10 minutes.

Sen. Victor Ramirez, D-Prince George’s, says jurors never spend just 10 minutes at jury duty, which is an important civic service.

The measure now goes to the House.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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