Many government offices are giving their employees the day off in recognition of Juneteenth. Private companies such as Nike, Google and Best Buy are also participating in having a paid holiday for their employees this weekend.
After being passed by Congress earlier this week, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden, making it the 11th federal holiday established by law, following Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom from Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger.
Per USA Today, Juneteenth has been celebrated by African Americans for generations since that day, but it wasn’t until after the murder of George Floyd last year that companies started to celebrate the holiday amongst their employees. More than 460 companies are observing Juneteenth as of now, with many offering a paid day off or holiday pay, according to HellaCreative, an initiative launched by Black creatives in San Francisco to make Juneteenth an official holiday.
Here are what some companies are doing for Juneteenth this year:
The insurance company made Juneteenth an annual, paid company holiday in 2020. They will give employees “the opportunity to reflect, learn and engage in their communities,” Allstate spokesperson Mallory Vasquez said in an email.
The company will observe the holiday on Friday, June 18.
Juneteenth is an official company holiday at Best Buy, which it announced last year. Corporate offices will be closed on June 18, and corporate employees will get a paid day off. Hourly workers who work full or part-time will receive time-and-a-half.
“It’s really important for us to recognize its significance with our employees and offer them an opportunity to celebrate, reflect or give back,” Mark Irvin, chief inclusion, diversity and talent officer at BestBuy, said in an email.
The company is also providing resources and information on local community-led celebrations, educational resources about Juneteenth and volunteer opportunities.
The home improvement company has planned a series of events and celebrations for its associates and will host a virtual event for all associates to come together and talk openly, a spokesperson told USA Today.
The rideshare company will give employees the day off for the second year in a row.
“We encourage team members to use this day to reflect, participate in civic engagement, or leverage anti-discrimination resources to deepen understanding of the work still needed to support the Black community,” the company said in an email.
Per USA Today, executives at Lyft will also take part in roundtable discussions about Juneteenth, voting, rights, allyship and more throughout the week. NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President and CEO Melanie Campbell will be in attendance.
The credit card company made Juneteenth a “Mastercard Day of Solidarity” for its employees last year, making it the same for this year.
Will O’Connor, senior vice president of communications at Mastercard, told the news outlet, “We continue to offer employees globally the day for service, learning or reflection,”
Juneteenth will be observed on Friday, June 18, and Thursday, June 17, for countries that don’t work on Fridays.
Nike made Juneteenth a paid annual holiday for its employees in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico last year.
A spokesperson for the footwear company told USA Today, “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.”
The company’s corporate offices and distribution centers will be closed on Friday, June 18, while Nike and Converse retail stores will be closed on Saturday, June 19.
The retail giant made Juneteenth an official annual company holiday last year, continuing on this year, “In 2021, Target is doing the same by providing team members with the opportunity to observe the day however they prefer, through education, service or celebration,” the company said in a statement.
Employees working hourly will get paid time-and-a-half.
The mobile communications company made Juneteenth a paid company holiday for the first time this year.
“It is the result of the great feedback from our employees about what T-Mobile can do to effect positive change inside and outside our walls,” Mike Sievert, CEO, told the news outlet.
The review site joins the list in making Juneteenth a paid holiday this year. The company said it will observe the holiday on Friday, June 18.
“Myself and other Yelp executives conducted a series of listening sessions to hear from our Black employees and discovered the areas where we can and must do better. Stemming from those conversations, we realized the importance of giving our employees the space to observe Juneteenth as a global paid holiday,” Miriam Warren, Yelp’s chief diversity officer, said in a statement.
The company has planned internal events for its employees to attend to celebrate and recognize the significance of Juneteenth.