A major hospital in Georgia is letting employees know that Christmas Eve is no longer an observed holiday because its commitment to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” means it must recognize Juneteenth instead.
Emory Healthcare, a part of Emory University and the “most comprehensive health system in Georgia,” let their employees know that starting in 2024 they will have to use paid time off to observe Christmas Eve.
“Thanks to your feedback, the Executive Leadership Team and I have decided to make Juneteenth (June 19th) an EHC observed holiday,” the hospital’s CEO Joon S. Lee announced. “Beginning January 2024, we will remove Christmas Eve from our holiday calendar and replace it with Juneteenth.”
The memo explains “diversity, equity and inclusion at Emory Healthcare is about creating an environment of true belonging for our patients and team members, while ensuring equitable outcomes for all,” and that, although Christmas Eve will no longer be a recognized holiday, “team members will still have the flexibility and option to use paid time off for Christmas Eve.”
It declares “diversity, equity and inclusion at Emory Healthcare is about creating an environment of true belonging for our patients and team members, while ensuring equitable outcomes for all.”
The memo explained the decision, reading “For each observed holiday, our clinics and business offices close, which means our patients are unable to make clinic appointments for those days. To minimize impact to patient care, we will not be adding another paid holiday to our calendar.”
Juneteenth was established as a federal holiday by President Joe Biden on June 17, 2021, who declared that the holiday reminds us of “the ongoing work to … bring true equity and racial justice into American society.” He went on to remark “this day doesn’t just celebrate the past; it calls for action today.” It recognizes the date in 1865 that news of the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the United States reached Texas.
NEW: The largest hospital system in Georgia, Emory Healthcare, has scrapped Christmas Eve from its paid holiday calendar and added Juneteenth. Employees will now have to use paid time off to celebrate the December holiday.
Why the change? “Equity.” 🧵https://t.co/hH09hET8B9
— Aaron Sibarium (@aaronsibarium) September 7, 2023