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Twitter to Give US Employees Election Day Off

Move comes a week after Twitter started recognizing Juneteenth as a company holiday

Twitter on Tuesday said it will be giving nearly all of its U.S. employees Election Day off this year and in the years ahead. Employees in other countries will also be given time off to vote in their national elections.

Altogether, Twitter had 5,100 employees at the end of March. The one group of employees who won’t be given the day off are members of Twitter’s election team, according to a person familiar with the company’s decision.

“Given the importance of voting, going forward all national election voting days that take place on a weekday will be a paid day off. Since the U.S. presidential election falls on a work day (November 3), we will plan to close all US offices on that day,” said an email to all Twitter employees on Tuesday. “For all other elections, if you do not have enough time outside of working hours to vote or your country doesn’t already have a process in place to address this, you should take the time you need to do so and you will be compensated for the time off.”

Last week, Twitter employees, for the first time ever, were given Juneteenth off as a company holiday. Juneteenth honors the end of slavery in the United States. The name is a combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” commemorating the date in 1865 when Union soldiers announced in Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War had ended and slaves were free. The event came more than 2 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

The move also comes after Twitter and President Trump have been sparring more in recent months. Twitter attached fact check notifications to a few of the president’s tweets at the end of May — a decision that irked the president, who soon after signed an executive order calling for a review of Section 230, a law that gives tech platforms broad legal protection from what its users say and post.

And earlier this month, Twitter also blocked a video by President Trump’s campaign team honoring George Floyd, whose recent death at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman has sparked nationwide protests. Trump’s video, which was posted Thursday and also denounced the rioting and looting seen this past week, was pulled over a copyright claim, according to Twitter. The Trump campaign wasn’t satisfied with that reason, later tweeting the tech giant and its CEO, Jack Dorsey, were “censoring” an “uplifting and unifying message.”