DENVER (KDVR) — Monday’s national Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is ceasing to be simply a government and bank vacation.
The holiday celebrating the life of civil rights hero MLK wasn’t declared until 1983. It took several decades for more than government employees to celebrate.
Since then, however, more companies recognize the day as a corporate holiday. Forty-five percent of businesses in 2019 had the day off or paid as a holiday, according to a Bloomberg Law survey. Half that percentage of U.S. businesses celebrated it only ten years before.
In Colorado, hundreds of thousands of workers are getting the day off or being paid holiday wages for the work.
Some of the state’s largest employers are recognizing MLK Day for the first time in 2022 including UCHealth, the state’s largest hospital system with over 24,000 employees.
Nearly all of the state’s largest healthcare organizations recognize MLK Day, including HealthONE, Centura, Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Denver Health and SCL Health. Kaiser Permanente announced on Jan. 7 that it will start honoring the holiday in 2023.
Non-healthcare settings do, as well. Wells Fargo has long recognized the bank holiday, while Denver International Airport, as a largely government employer, has all but its most necessary roles out for the holiday.