Pres. Biden signs law making Juneteenth a federal holiday

On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed Senate Bill 475 declaring Juneteenth National Independence Day a federal holiday. Juneteenth commemorates when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, about 2 1/2 years after the proclamation was first issued. The bill became effective immediately upon being signed.

What it means for employees

For most federal employees, the addition of the Juneteenth as holiday means they will receive an additional paid day off each year, including 2021. Employees of federal contractors too may receive the extra day off depending on the nature of the contracts under which they are working.

Employees of private employers are not automatically entitled to an additional holiday day off, either paid or unpaid, unless it is required by state law or offered by their employers as a fringe benefit.