September 9, 2023
In a move announced August 31 to employees, Emory Healthcare, the largest hospital system in Georgia eliminated Christmas Eve from it's paid holiday list and at the same time added Juneteenth as a paid holiday. Employees who choose to work on Juneteenth will earn extra holiday pay while those who work on Christmas eve will not.
Many people will recall the period around 2009 when the notion of recognizing Christian holidays seemed to be under assault. Stores reduced the number of Christmas trees, many events were called "Holiday" events rather than "Christmas" events. Store held Holiday sales not Christmas sales. EVen shoppers had a tendency to wish other "Happy Holidays" reluctant to say Merry Christmas.
One wonders what Emory is thinking in making this change. They claim they solicited employee input prior to the change but what exact input did they receive? We don't know.
As the number of issues in America grows, many repot a growing need and desire for spiritual connection. At the same time, few will argue that the end of slavery certainly deserves vast recognition as a move toward freedom for mankind.
For many years, and in many organizations, people of differing spiritual faiths have been able to apply employee holidays which allow them to celebrate their faith with family and friends. Why would Emory deny employees this option?
Perhaps Emory employees who don't approve of this new change should speak out on their own behalf and that of their families. Freedom of choice would help solve this question and show that Emory is not trying to impact Christianity but broaden the options available to its employees.
Emory promotes themselves as Community focused, perhaps they need to show it.