Juneteenth Federal Labor Requirements

Now that Juneteenth is a federal holiday, what do employers have to do for their employees?  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Juneteenth—the celebration of the day enslaved African-Americans were told they were free—is now an official federal holiday, but what effect does that have—or, for that matter, does any federal holiday have—on workers?  For non-unionized, non-government employees, probably not as much as you’d hope.

While many private companies have decided to close, the law does not require a private company to close on any federal holiday, not even Christmas.  And private employees who don’t have a contract or aren’t party to a collective bargaining agreement don’t have to be paid time and a half or any extra pay for working on any federal holiday.  If you’re an hourly worker who doesn’t get paid time off, you don’t have to be paid at all if your company is closed and you’re not working.  One hopes that in the spirit of being good humans all bosses are kind to their employees, but if not, at least you can celebrate the holiday when you get home.

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