Wake County is First in North Carolina to Declare Juneteenth a Holiday

Wake County is the first county in North Carolina to declare Juneteenth a holiday for its employees. This move comes after a unanimous vote tonight by the Wake County Board of Commissioners during its 5 p.m. virtual meeting.

“As a former teacher and principal, I firmly believe it’s important for us to recognize major milestones in the history of our nation,” said Board Chairman Greg Ford. “By making June 19 a holiday, we give our more than 4,000 employees the opportunity to learn more about the end of slavery in our country and show their commitment to making today’s society more equitable and inclusive.”

Juneteenth will become a paid holiday for county staff in 2021. The estimated financial impact to the county is $544,428. The county based this figure on the anticipated payment to hourly employees during a pre-COVID-19 period.

“Juneteenth is not only black history. It is American history,” said Commissioner Jessica Holmes. “This board is committed to addressing systemic and institutional racism and discrimination. Recognition of Juneteenth is one step of many that we plan to take to do our part, and I hope other counties and municipalities will follow our lead.”

With the addition of Juneteenth, the county now recognizes 10 holidays in its ordinance, resulting in 13 days off annually for county government employees.

Press Release