Paid holidays aren’t just about giving your employees some time off. It can also be about giving employees support and flexibility. Recently, we at JetCo started offering employees the chance to choose several of the holidays they would prefer to celebrate. By allowing employees to observe a religious or culturally significant holiday of their choosing, JetCo has opened the door to creating a more inclusive workplace. And for us, that’s what matters.
History of Federal Holidays
The United States first started creating Federal Holidays in 1870 after congress passed the first federal holiday law. This law gave federal employees paid time off for New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. As the country grew and aged, additional federal holidays were added to the list from 1879 to 2022. These dates include Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and most recently Juneteenth National Independence Day. Another federal holiday is Inauguration Day which occurs every four years when a new President is inaugurated.
JetCo's New Paid Holidays Policy
Traditionally, JetCo Solutions gave employees 10 static paid holidays off each year. For the most part, the holidays aligned with recognized federal holidays. Some notable federal holidays like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Indigenous Peoples Day/Columbus Day were not observed, while Veterans Day was.
With the addition of Juneteenth National Independence Day in 2022, JetCo took the opportunity to adapt our federal holiday policy to allow employees to choose which days they wanted to observe. We still have a few set dates that the office is closed, but now employees can also pick holidays that are important to them. Since we implemented the new policy, all employees have responded positively to the flexibility. While we stick to mostly federal holidays (due to the nature of our business), we know other businesses that have created similar policies that open the door to take off religious holidays.
Overall, paid holidays are a small part of the benefits and compensation that employees can expect to receive by working at JetCo Solutions. 2023 is the first full year that employees can observe the holidays that are important to them, allowing for a more inclusive workplace now and in years to come.
Sue Tellier had the opportunity to expound on this holiday innovation further with SBAM's Small Business Briefing. The interview can be found here.
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