Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day! In celebration of Dr. King’s birthday and his major contributions to the civil rights movement, Twitter, Asana, Etsy, Google, Box, Slack, GitHub and several other tech companies have closed their offices in honor of MLK Day, according to their employees. Some tech employees are taking that time to march in MLK Day parades.
At Salesforce, the company encouraged employees to use their voluntary time off “to continue Dr. King’s legacy,” Salesforce Chief Equality Officer Tony Prophet wrote on the Salesforce blog. Members of Salesforce’s employee resource group for black employees, for example, are using their time to walk in the 2017 MLK Freedom March.
Last year, only 37% of employers in the U.S. offered MLK Day as a paid holiday, according to Bloomberg BNA’s Holiday Practices Survey. That means that less than two in five workers in the U.S. received that day off last year. This year, employers stepped up their game a bit, with 43% of employers offering MLK Day as a paid holiday, according to Bloomberg BNA.
“While the increase in businesses providing Martin Luther King, Jr. day off with pay certainly is striking, it is worth noting that the majority of U.S. employers still do not give employees a paid day off for the federal holiday,” Molly Huie, Bloomberg BNA’s Manager of Survey and Research Reports, said in a release. “Putting things into perspective with other federal holidays, the number of business giving employees a paid holiday on Dr. King’s birthday is on par with President’s Day (37 percent) and far outpaces Columbus Day (16 percent) and Veteran’s Day (24 percent).”
Over on Twitter, there’s a special MLK emoji that you can activate by using hashtags like #MLK, #IHaveADream, #MLKDay, MartinLutherKingJr, and #MartinLutherKing. Google, unsurprisingly, has a colorful and diverse Doodle on its homepage, accompanied with a link to explore photography from the civil rights movement.
Is your tech company celebrating MLK day? Do you have the day off? Let us know in the comments.