JPMorgan Chase will close its U.S. Chase retail branches early on Friday in observation of Juneteenth, according to an email to colleagues from CEO Jamie Dimon.
“Out of deep respect for the suffering that the Black community has endured over hundreds of years and in recognition of the high esteem in which we hold our Black community at JPMorgan Chase, we are closing all Chase branches at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 19 — known as Juneteenth,” Dimon said.
The bank is the latest large company to make Juneteenth at least a partial holiday in recent weeks as corporate leaders react to the nationwide protests after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis.
“2020 has become a very unique moment in our history. While we must continue many core operations during this period, this early closure allows our branch employees — many of whom have been working on the front lines to support our customers and communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis — time to reflect, learn and participate in peaceful events in their communities,” Dimon added.
The 155-year old holiday celebrates the emancipation of African-Americans from slavery in the U.S. Celebrated on June 19, it marks the anniversary of Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army landing in Galveston, Texas, and informing slaves that the Civil War had ended and slavery was abolished.
On June 9, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey said that the date would be a company holiday.
Nike and the NFL are among the other organizations that will recognize the day as a company holiday, and President Trump said that he would reschedule a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, initially scheduled for Friday in observation of the day.
“I want to reiterate that JPMorgan Chase is dedicated to the principle that all people deserve fair and equal treatment and respect, both morally and under the law. We want all people, including the LGBT+ community, people with disabilities, veterans, the Hispanic, Muslim and Asian communities and anyone else disrespected by discriminatory policies and behavior — whether blatant or veiled, deliberate or unconscious — to have a chance to flourish in this great country,” Dimon added.
Hourly employees who are able to leave early will still be paid for a full day, the bank said