Item Coversheet

Board Action Request

Item Description:
Establish Juneteenth as a Hennepin County Holiday - Offered by Commissioners Conley and Fernando

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Hennepin County Board establishes Juneteenth (June 19) as a Hennepin County holiday for employees to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the County Administrator be directed to implement this Resolution, including any necessary revisions to Human Resources Rules, policies, practices and/or collective bargaining needed to support this directive. 


Hennepin County Board Resolution 20-0267R1 designated Juneteenth (June 19) as a county (Leave Day with Pay) and directed the County Administrator to implement the Resolution, including any necessary revisions to Human Resources Rules policies and practices. This was accomplished by revising HR Rule 12.3b from an “Additional Holiday” to a more flexible “Leave Day with Pay” and did not result in adding a paid county holiday or the closure of county offices. This flexible option demonstrates that the County values its employees and allows them to utilize time off in a manner that best matches their personal needs. Such a leave day with pay to observe a religious, cultural or personally meaningful day recognizes the variety of holidays observed by our increasingly diverse workforce.


The current Resolution modifies but does not rescind Resolution 20-0267R1. The current Resolution adds Juneteenth as a paid holiday, pursuant to the County Board’s authority under Minnesota Statutes § 373.052. This means our benefit package will include a total of 11 paid holidays and the additional leave day with pay (former Additional Holiday).


Juneteenth is not yet a federal holiday, and so as a County holiday, it will be similar to the County’s Thanksgiving Friday paid holiday with a closure of county offices. Due to the June 19 holiday falling on Saturday in 2021, the previous workday (6/18) is observed as a holiday.


This Resolution includes direction to the County Administrator to implement any necessary changes to existing rules and policies to implement this change, including any necessary collective bargaining.


Current request: Establish Juneteenth as a Hennepin County Holiday (paid holiday) to commemorate the end of slavery and the triumphs, culture and achievements of African Americans locally and across the United States.


Recommendation from County Administrator: Supports directive stated in resolution.