Juneteenth recognized as holiday by some jurisdictions, not by others

A year after Congress made June 19 into the Juneteenth federal holiday, a slight majority of the Dayton-area’s larger governments are observing the day by closing government offices, while some have yet to designate it as a paid employee holiday.

Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery, has been celebrated in a variety of communities throughout the country since 1865. The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act was signed by President Joe Biden on June 17, 2021, officially recognizing the date as a national holiday, though many states had already adopted the date of June 19 as a state holiday.

“Juneteenth celebrates the first day of freedom for ALL Americans,” said Montgomery County Commission President Carolyn Rice. “We are proud that the federal government is observing this significant time in our history.”

Many municipalities in the region made Juneteenth a regular holiday like Memorial Day or Labor Day. Others acknowledge the occasion by allowing employees an extra paid personal day, rather than shutting down entire offices for a day.

This includes the city of Lebanon, which offers its employees an additional paid personal day, known as a “floating holiday,” in place of closing its offices. Other local governments, like Butler Twp. (which will be open) and the city of Piqua (which will be closed), observe holidays based on what has been outlined in collective bargaining agreements.

According to Butler Twp. Administrator Erika Vogel, township employees get 11 federal holidays, though these are not all observed on the actual holiday. The city of Piqua observes 10 holidays, which were negotiated within collective bargaining agreements and codified in city ordinance.

West Carrollton is similar, according to spokeswoman Heidi Van Antwerp, who said the city’s designated holidays had already been determined for 2022 via labor negotiations that took place prior to Juneteenth becoming nationally recognized. The city’s holiday designations could change during city council’s next round of negotiations.

Beavercreek is among the cities where government offices will be open Monday. City spokeswoman Katy Carrico said Beavercreek doesn’t recognize all federal holidays, also staying open on Columbus Day, and having only certain departments closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Veterans Day.

For some cities, the office closures will affect trash pick-up. In Dayton and Oakwood, garbage and recycling collection will be delayed by one day throughout the week of Juneteenth. In Moraine, collection will move from Friday, June 24, to Saturday, June 25. In Jefferson Twp., collection is delayed one day, and bulk and recycling pick-up will move from Friday, June 24, to Saturday, June 25.

Residents can visit their city’s website or call city offices this week to confirm the trash collection schedule.

Offices closing Monday

** Counties: Greene, Montgomery, Miami, Warren

** Townships: Clearcreek, Franklin, Harrison, Miami, Turtlecreek, Washington, Wayne

** Cities: Bellbrook, Dayton, Fairborn, Huber Heights, Kettering, Oakwood, Piqua, Trotwood, Xenia

** Other: Dayton Metro Library

Offices open Monday

** Cities: Beavercreek, Brookville, Carlisle, Centerville, Clayton, Franklin, Lebanon*, Miamisburg, Riverside, Springboro, Tipp City, Troy, Union, Vandalia, West Carrollton

** Township: Butler Twp.

About the Author