Minnesota Companies to Recognize Juneteenth
For the first time, some of Minnesota’s biggest companies are formally recognizing Juneteenth as a corporate holiday. Juneteenth, which takes place every year on June 19, marks the end of slavery in the U.S.
Target Corp. said all stores will remain open tomorrow, but employees will be paid time and a half — which is what the company typically pays employees on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. The retailer is also closing its Minneapolis headquarters in observance of Juneteenth. With the country still reeling from ongoing unrest and “racial trauma,” the holiday “takes on additional significance in this moment,” said CEO and chairman Brian Cornell in a news release.
“Moving now to recognize it on an annual basis—as a day to celebrate, further educate ourselves or connect with our communities—is one more important action Target can take as a company to help the country live up to the ideal of moving forward in a new way,” he said.
Best Buy Co. Inc., meanwhile, will allow staffers to take a paid volunteer day any time this year in honor of Juneteenth. Next year, June 19 will be a paid company holiday. In a June 16 statement, company officials said they’re waiting until next year to make Juneteenth a paid holiday because they “wanted to give as much flexibility as possible to accommodate individual schedules.”
Earlier this month, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry announced a host of initiatives to drive “systemic, permanent change.”
U.S. Bank plans to close its branches early on Friday in recognition of Juneteenth. In-person banking will continue until 1 p.m., bank officials said in a news release.
“The events of the past few weeks have changed the conversation and added a sense of urgency that has motivated more people across the globe to act to address social injustice. That begins with acknowledging our rich and diverse history,” said Andy Cecere, chairman, president, and CEO of U.S. Bank. “We are encouraging our employees to use this time to serve in our communities, commit to inclusion and advocacy, or simply educate themselves on this very important topic.”