New York City Workers Will Get Juneteenth Off as a Paid Holiday This Year

New York City Mayor Eric Adams noted that "this decision is long overdue."

Juneteenth protest
Kevin RC Wilson/Shutterstock

New York City public workers will receive Juneteenth as a paid holiday this year for the first time, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Monday.

The more than century-old holiday commemorates the date in 1865 when the final enslaved people in the US in Texas were informed they were freed, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It's gained more official government recognition since the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly after widespread national protests in 2020 following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. Former Governor Andrew Cuomo declared it a holiday for state employees in October 2020, while President Joe Biden signed a bill into law, making it a national holiday last year. 

"As the second Black mayor of New York City, I know that I stand on the shoulders of countless heroes and sheroes who put their lives on the line to secure a more perfect union," Mayor Adams said. "It's time for our city to finally do what's right and officially designate Juneteenth as a city holiday. This decision is long overdue, which is why it will immediately take effect this year."

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19. This year, employees will receive June 20 off in observance since the holiday falls on a Sunday.

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Chris Mench is an editor focusing on NYC News at Thrillist. You can follow him on Twitter for more of his work.