Juneteenth Moves From Day of Observance To Holiday Status In Connecticut

Article Contributed by Mark Adams

Across the United States, Juneteenth is recognized as the commemoration of the ending of slavery in our country. Last year, President Biden signed the National Independence Day Act, turning Juneteenth into a federal holiday. The Juneteenth Independence Day is recognized by most states in some form or another – whether that is as a state holiday or as a day of observance.

For quite some time, when it came to Juneteenth Independence, Connecticut had treated it as one of over sixty (60) days of observance (as noted in Connecticut General Statute Section 10-29a) which would be recognized and observed through governmental proclamations and other “suitable exercises” to memorialize the observance. In reviewing the lengthy list, the topics are many and diverse and from an employer point of view, many do not bear much consequence upon their operations.

That is until now. On May 27, 2022 Governor Lamont signed Public Act 22-128 into law which elevates Juneteenth Independence Day (June 19th) as an official legal holiday in the Nutmeg state……though not immediately.

Rather, since the Act does not take effect until October 1, 2022, Juneteenth will not officially become a state holiday until its observance in 2023 (specifically June 19, 2023); leaving 2022 as the final year where it will be recognized as a day of observance.

It is a distinction worth noting for some employers, most notably state and municipal employers as well as those private employers (such as banks and credit unions) who have modeled their holiday practices based upon state recognized holidays to ensure their policies are updated timely in the future.