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U.S. companies give staff a day off for Juneteenth By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of the exterior of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate headquarters in New York City May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) -Several U.S. companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:) and Nike Inc (NYSE:), have given their U.S. employees a day off for the newly implemented Juneteenth federal holiday.

President Joe Biden signed a bill on Thursday to recognize June 19, or “Juneteenth”, a federal holiday marking the end of legal enslavement of Black Americans, pressuring more companies to declare the day a company holiday.

The law comes a year after the United States was rocked by protests against racism and policing following the murder of George Floyd, an African-American man, by a Minneapolis police officer.

Retailer Target Corp (NYSE:) said the day would remain an annual company holiday moving forward, while it would be a paid holiday at Yelp (NYSE:) Inc. Nike said it would close all U.S. operations.

Coffee chain Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:) said its stores would remain open, but hourly workers would be paid at 1.5 times their regular rate and salaried staff will receive a holiday in lieu.

Employees can coordinate with managers for a paid day off between July 1 and Dec. 31, a memo from JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:)’s staff will get a paid floating holiday this year and Juneteenth will be an official holiday starting next year, a memo showed.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:) & Co will provide an additional personal holiday this year to eligible U.S.-based employees, a company spokesperson said. Wealth manager UBS also unveiled similar plans, an internal memo showed.

Juneteenth is the first new federal holiday created in nearly four decades. Texas officially declared Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980 and since then the holiday has been officially recognized in most U.S. states.

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