Loading
Hobby Lobby shifts insurance plan to delay mandate fines
Hobby Lobby. Courtesy of the Becket Fund.
Hobby Lobby. Courtesy of the Becket Fund.

.- Arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby has found a way to adjust its employee healthcare plan to delay potentially crippling fines for refusing to comply with the federal contraception mandate.

The company will now “shift the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months,” announced attorney Peter M. Dobelbower in a Jan. 10 statement.

“Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its healthcare plan,” Dobelbower said, adding that the retailer “will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties.”

By shifting its insurance plan year, the company will gain time in its battle against the federal contraception mandate, which would have taken effect for it on Jan. 1, 2013.

The controversial mandate, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, requires that employers provide insurance plans that offer contraceptives – including some drugs that can cause early abortions – and sterilization.

While a narrow exemption to the mandate exists, it does not apply to for-profit businesses or those that hire members of other faiths.

Hobby Lobby is one of dozens of employers that has sued over the mandate, charging that it violates the First Amendment’s guarantees of free exercise of religion.

The company’s founder and CEO, David Green, started Hobby Lobby in an Oklahoma City garage in 1972. Since then, the company has grown to more than 500 stores in 41 states.

The Greens describe themselves as committed Christians who seek to serve God through all their endeavors, including their business. The family donates large amounts to charity, maintains a minimum wage that is considerably higher than that required by federal law and closes their stores on Sundays, sacrificing profit to allow their employees to worship and rest.

As Christians, the Greens object to funding or facilitating any drugs that can cause abortions, including the “morning after” and “week after” pills.

The company was recently denied injunctions by both a district court and the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. An injunction would have temporarily blocked the mandate from taking effect while the case is heard in court.

Hobby Lobby then made an emergency injunction appeal to the Supreme Court. The appeal was denied on Dec. 26 by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is responsible for hearing emergency requests from the 10th Circuit. Sotomayor stated that the case did not meet the extreme standard necessary for the Supreme Court to intervene.

The Supreme Court still has the option to review the case after the Hobby Lobby appeal is completed in the 10th Circuit.

If the Greens had not been able to adjust their insurance plan year, they could have been subject to fines of up to $1.3 million per day, beginning Jan. 1 of this year. By Jan. 11, these fines could have totaled more than $14 million.

Tags: Contraception mandate, Religious freedom


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: