Hi, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer, here with your quick shot of legal wellness. It’s Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln’s historic Emancipation Proclamation, that U.S. Major General Gordon Granger issued General Order Number Three, informing the people of Texas that all enslaved people were now free. Although on January 1, 1980, Juneteenth officially became a Texas state holiday, it wasn’t until June 17, 2021 that President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
So, what’s it mean to be a federal holiday? Well first, Congress holds the authority to establish them. There’s even a section of the U.S. Code, our set of federal laws, that lists the 12 federal holidays. On federal holidays, all 90 central federal offices and most financial institutions are closed for business, but unlike other countries, we don’t have national holidays that everyone must observe via congressional mandate or some other presidential decree. Instead, each state decides whether to legally observe a federal holiday with most states observing the eight major ones: Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, and the like.
So, what’s this mean? It means private employers don’t have to give you the day off for all federal holidays, including Juneteenth. You might want to check with your boss before deciding not to come in to work today. Either way, take a moment to recognize today’s importance.
If you’d like to learn more about legal wellness, please subscribe to my YouTube channel or visit me at yourlovablelawyer.com. Until next time, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer.
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