RELATED: 5 facts about Juneteenth, which marks the last day of slavery
Businesses have been forced to re-examine their policies after pressure from employees and ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the handcuffed black man's neck for several minutes, even after he pleaded for air.
Some businesses have professed support for the Black Lives Matter movement or pledged to donate money to organizations. Others have promised to hire more black workers or make other policy changes.
This week, Nike CEO John Donahoe told workers they would get Juneteenth off starting this year as a way to celebrate black culture and history.
“Our expectation is that each of us use this time to continue to educate ourselves and challenge our perspectives and learn,” Donahoe wrote in a memo. “I know that is what I intend to do.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who last week said the league was wrong to not listen to football players who have protested police brutality on the field since 2016, wrote in a note Friday that its offices would be closed June 19.
“The power of this historical feat in our country’s blemished history is felt each year,” Goodell wrote in a memo. “But there is no question that the magnitude of this event weighs even more heavily today in the current climate.”
After getting feedback from black employees, The New York Times said it would give employees an additional day off and encouraged them to use it on June 19.
Earlier this week, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that U.S. employees would have Juneteenth off “forevermore” as a day for “celebration, education, and connection.” Dorsey said employees at Square, the mobile payments services company he also runs, would get the day off, too.