Is your business taking the day off for Juneteenth? If so, you have a lot of company. At least 47 high-profile companies (and probably many more) are closed for the day, giving their employees a day off to take part in Juneteenth celebrations, learn about black history in America, or just take a needed break. The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, the day a proclamation was read that slaves were freed in Texas, the final outpost of the Civil War.
The NFL closed all its offices for the day. "It is a day to reflect on our past, but more importantly, consider how each one of us can continue to show up and band together to work toward a better future," Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to employees. Juneteenth is recognized as either a state or ceremonial holiday by at least 46 states and the District of Columbia. And the governors of New York and Virginia -- where Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War -- have now declared June 19 a paid day off for state employees.
The personal finance site GOBankingRates has compiled a list of 46 companies, plus the NFL, that have declared Juneteenth to be a paid holiday. There are some pretty big names on the list, beginning with Nike. That may be no surprise, considering the company created an ad campaign around former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick after he gained notoriety for his "take a knee" protest of racism during the national anthem. The prestigious VC firm Sequoia Capital is closed for the day. So are some very high-profile entrepreneurial companies, including Lyft, Spotify, Twitter, and Square. Those last two were both co-founded by Jack Dorsey, who put out the news by tweet, of course.
Dorsey invited companies that are taking the holiday off to post their announcements in that same Twitter thread, so if you are closed for the holiday, make sure to do that, a quick and easy way to gain good publicity for your business. And if you're not closing, do what some companies are doing and encourage employees not to schedule meetings or deadlines on Juneteenth so that those who want to take a day off to join in the day's observances can do so without it conflicting with their jobs.
There's a 47th company celebrating Juneteenth off that's not included in the GOBankingRates list. For the first time, the Inc. offices are closed on June 19. Have a good holiday!