The New York Times makes Juneteenth a paid holiday
The New York Times announced Friday that it would formally observe Juneteenth as a paid holiday this year.
“In support of our Black colleagues at this moment of global reckoning, The New York Times this year is celebrating Juneteenth, which occurs Friday, June 19,” reads an announcement from the paper. “In recognition of this day, the company is offering eligible employees one paid day off to observe the holiday.”
The @nytimes is observing Juneteenth as a paid holiday this year. We have much more work to do on racial equity, but I appreciate the gesture from management. Hopefully it’s a sign of more meaningful change to come. pic.twitter.com/3aVVDm2nG4
— John Eligon (@jeligon) June 12, 2020
The flex paid holiday can be used at another time during the year for employees who choose to work on Juneteenth. In a comment to The Hill, the Times said leaders are looking at how to allow employees to observe it beyond this year.
The New York Times announcement makes it the latest company to make the historic day, which commemorates the end of slavery, a paid holiday. Earlier this week Twitter and Nike announced their employees would also receive a paid holiday for Juneteenth.
The holiday marks the day in 1865 when Union Gen. Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation to former slaves in Texas, the last state where emancipation was announced after President Lincoln issued the proclamation in 1863.
The decision by the Times also comes as it has faced backlash over the last week for publishing an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that supported the use of the military against protesters demonstrating nationwide in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Numerous Times staffers criticized the newspaper’s decision to publish the op-ed, arguing such sentiments endangered the lives of black journalists and black protesters.
The publication later said in a statement that the senator’s op-ed “did not meet our standards” and that the newspaper is planning to “examine both short-term and long-term changes,” including expanding its fact-checking operation and reducing the number of op-eds it publishes.
The New York Time’s editorial page director James Bennet also resigned after the incident.
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