These Major Companies Are Closed on Juneteenth in 2022
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Since Juneteenth was designated a federal holiday in the United States by President Biden last year, governors, mayors and CEOs of major companies have followed suit and given employees the day off as a paid holiday.
Juneteenth, recognized annually on June 19, marks the anniversary of the day federal troops liberated the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas in 1884. This day marks the end of slavery in America, almost two-and-a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth is the first new federal holiday since 1983, with Martin Luther King Jr. Day being the last to be instituted. While Juneteenth is now recognized at the federal level, not all states and companies have done so. However, some companies have taken the initiative to honor Juneteenth this and other years.
When is Juneteenth recognized in 2022?
Juneteenth is June 19, 2022, but it falls on a Sunday this year. As with other federal holidays such as July 4, businesses that close for the day take the prior Friday or following Monday off if it falls on a weekend.
Who gets Juneteenth off for a paid holiday?
Juneteenth is now one of 11 federal holidays, joining others like Christmas and the Fourth of July. These holidays are observed by federal institutions such as banks and public school. Employees get the day off.
State vs. national regulations
Although Juneteenth was officially designated a federal holiday by the Biden administration in 2021, certain states and cities abide by their own regulations, with some having recognized the day as a state holiday before 2021. New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon and Delaware have all made Juneteenth a state holiday — with Texas being far ahead of the pack by instituting it in 1980 and Massachusetts in 2007. New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania recognized the holiday in 2020 — a year before it became federally instated — prompted by the murder of George Floyd. All government employees and programs can observe a holiday that is recognized at the state level. Schedules are determined by private businesses and organizations.
These major companies have announced Juneteenth is now an annual company holiday
Nike announced in 2020 it would be recognizing Juneteenth as a paid federal holiday for all its U.S. and Puerto Rican employees. “Across our Nike, Converse, and Jordan family, we will close our corporate, retail, manufacturing and distribution operations in observance of Juneteenth to provide educational opportunities that honor Black history and culture,” said Nike director of communications for North America Jenna Golden in an email to NPR.
Ride-sharing app Lyft is honoring Juneteenth as a paid company holiday for all corporate employees. Lyft drivers who are independent contractors don’t have to adhere to the policy.
Zillow is also giving employees the day off for Juneteenth. “As part of our ongoing commitment to racial equality, Zillow observes Juneteenth as a paid company holiday, and encourages employees to take the day for reflection, volunteerism, education, and activism to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S.,” Zillow vice president Kristina Adamski said in a statement.
Tech companies like Twitter and Square have joined in making Juneteenth a paid company holiday, with Twitter making its signature blue bird logo black on the holiday in 2020 and adding the hashtag BlackLivesMatter to its description. Google has not made Juneteenth a company holiday, but it encourages employees to cancel meetings on the day. Amazon has also adopted a similar anti-meeting approach to the holiday, as well as offering a range of “online learning opportunities” throughout the day.
Certain retail corporations, such as Target and Starbucks, have opted to stay open but will pay employees time-and-a-half on Juneteenth.
What does it mean moving forward?
Juneteenth is still a relatively new federal holiday. Many businesses have not yet arranged an adjusted schedule for employees. The companies that have recognized the holiday from the beginning are setting an example for others.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.