Here's what's happening throughout California in celebration of Juneteenth
By ONME Newswire
Starting this year, California state employees can choose to take Juneteenth off in lieu of a personal holiday. For those still catching up, "Juneteenth" became a national holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed signed the bill recognizing it as such.
As some still try to learn more about this holiday, the Smithsonian Museum noted Juneteenth as our country’s second independence day. Although it has long celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans.
So what is the simple answer to what is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, nearly two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas with news of freedom for more than 250,000 Blacks still enslaved in America. Today, Americans embrace the freedom by executive decree in what has become known as "Juneteenth" or "Freedom Day." This day came to be known as Juneteenth, now officially a federal holiday.
"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer." --Gordon Granger, Union General (June 19, 1865)
This day came to be known as Juneteenth, now officially a federal holiday. Juneteenth is a time to celebrate, gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future.
So nationwide, here is what will be closed:
All nonessential federal government buildings and offices will be closed Monday.
Many public and private schools will be closed as well, but be sure to check your local school calendar.
USPS will be closed.
Most major restaurants along with retail, chain and grocery stores will remain open.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring June 18, 2022, as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day: A Day of Observance” in the State of California.
"This Juneteenth, I urge all Californians to reflect on the ongoing cause of freedom for Black Americans – remembering that, though General Granger’s announcement in 1865 called for “absolute equality,” that vision was, and remains, far from complete," said Newsom in the proclamation.
On September 29, 2022, Newsom signed a bill 1655 that allowed for state employees to take paid time off on June 19th or the nearest Friday or Monday if it falls on a weekend. In California, public schools and community colleges must close and give employees a paid holiday on specific days identified in the Education Code.
According to the California Chamber of Commerce, regarding California state holidays, there are two significant things to know:
• California state holidays are regulated by statute and apply to public offices and public employees.
• Private employers in California are not required to close on any of the holidays designated as state holidays or to provide special treatment to their employees.
Federal holidays work the same way. They apply to government offices and employees.
According to the state Department of Industrial Relations, “Hours worked on holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays are treated like hours worked on any other day of the week. California law does not require that an employer provide its employees with paid holidays, that it close its business on any holiday, or that employees be given the day off for any particular holiday.” (www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Holidays.htm)
Non-governmental private employers are not required to provide holidays to employees. An employer has the discretion to be open or closed on holidays, to pay or not pay its employees if closed, or to pay or not pay special premium wages if open.
So, is Juneteenth, this Monday, June 19, 2023 considered a holiday?
Does everyone have paid leave off for this holiday?
The answer is still yes and no; this seems to be a nationwide work in progress.