Corporations honoring Juneteenth as paid company holiday | LIST

ByChauncey Alcorn, CNN Business, CNNWire
Friday, June 18, 2021
What to know about the Juneteenth flag
Red, white and blue are the colors of the American flag, but they also grace the face of another quintessential American banner: the official Juneteenth flag.

NEW YORK -- As the U.S. officially made Juneteenth a federal holiday, many major corporations are also giving their employees paid time off to celebrate and commemorate.

Most federal workers will observe the holiday Friday, but companies are not required to give their employees paid time off.

President Joe Biden signed legislation Thursday establishing a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery, saying he believes it will go down as one of the greatest honors he has as president.

The annual June 19 tradition commemorates the events of June 19, 1865. That's when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas - some 2 1/2 years after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had freed slaves in Southern states.

African Americans have been celebrating Juneteenth as their own Independence Day since the late 19th century, according to the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, but the holiday gained mainstream recognition and took on more significance in the business world in the aftermath of the George Floyd tragedy a year ago.

SEE ALSO: Here's what will be closed or open for Juneteenth National Independence Day

The racial reckoning that erupted around the globe following Floyd's murder by a former police officer compelled many Fortune 500 companies to add Juneteenth to their calendars for the first time while also committing billions of dollars to initiatives designed to combat institutional racism.

Here is a look at some corporations that are observing Juneteenth as a company holiday:


The iPhone maker is giving US corporate employees a day off on Friday.

"Apple is honoring this day of freedom through week-long events for employees that are designed to educate, build community, and celebrate," the company said in an emailed statement.

Apple retail stores and support centers will maintain regular operating hours over the weekend.

SEE ALSO: Meet Opal Lee, the grandmother of Juneteenth

From "Our America: Black Freedom" in June 2020: Opal Lee is confident that Juneteenth will finally become a national holiday across the country this year.


The gig app company is observing Juneteenth as a company holiday and a "day of reflection" on Friday.

Corporate employees in the United States and Canada will be given a paid day off. An Instacart employee resource group will be hosting a "Juneteenth Cel-Liberation" event celebrating Black Cinema and discussing the accomplishments of prominent Black figures in film and television.


Lyft is one of several companies honoring Juneteenth as a paid day off for the second consecutive year. The rideshare company's employees won't have to come into work on Friday.

Lyft executives are also participating in a roundtable discussion about Juneteenth, voting rights and allyship this week along with NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President and CEO Melanie Campbell.

"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 via email.


Nike made Juneteenth an annual paid holiday for the first time last year.

The company's corporate offices and its Converse distribution centers will be closed on Friday in honor of Juneteenth. Its retail stores and distribution centers will also be closed on Saturday.

"Nike aspires to be a leader in building diverse and inclusive communities, from embedding diversity, equity and inclusion education in every employee's journey to leveraging our platform to inspire positive change in our communities," the company said via email.


The exercise equipment and media company is giving employees a paid day off to celebrate Juneteenth on Friday.

"Our field teams will observe it on Saturday," a Peloton spokesperson said via email.

Peloton is also offering users a selection of Juneteenth-themed fitness classes on Saturday.


The coffeemaker said scheduled hourly employees at its stores, distribution centers and plants will receive 1.5 times their regular wage on Saturday in recognition of the holiday.

"Salaried partners required to work will receive a holiday in lieu, and support partners will receive the day off with regular pay," Starbucks said. "We are also taking the time to pause and reflect on this important moment of history by learning and sharing resources from third parties."


Twitter made Juneteenth a company holiday in the US last year. The social media site's employees will celebrate the holiday at work on Friday and on Twitter's website on Saturday.

"On the platform we will engage in community and conversation, and we hope people will join us by using #Juneteenth and #HappyJuneteenth to unlock our custom emoji," the company said via email. "We're also planning other activities on-platform with our community partners to amplify conversations around Juneteenth."

Twitter also said it supports making Juneteenth a federal holiday in the United States.


CEO Rich Barton's digital real estate marketplace added Juneteenth to its holiday calendar last year. The company said it is also giving employees a paid day off on Friday.

"Employees are encouraged to take the day for reflection, volunteerism, education, and activism to commemorate the end of slavery in the US," Zillow senior manager of equity & belonging Jackie Turner told CNN Business via email.

Zilllow launched a Juneteenth 2021 resource page on June 10 and hosted a Juneteenth virtual read-along for employees and their children on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Zillow's Black African Ancestry Network, an employee resource group, hosted an hour-long Juneteenth music celebration.

In honor of Juneteenth, we're telling stories of what Black freedom means today, from a 94-year-old's quest for a national holiday to the fight for reparations to cultural celebrations. Click here for more stories from your city and around the country.

ABC Owned TV Stations contributed to this report.

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