HR Professionals Magazine August 2014

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August Issue Highlights


In the Spotlight: Cindy Kolb, J. D.

Hot Topics

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby!

The Supreme Court ruled June 30 that closely held companies cannot be forced to provide certain contraception to their employees. The Supreme Court issued the much-anticipated decision on the religious freedom challenge businesses have brought against the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate.

Hobby Lobby, along with Conestoga Wood Specialties, are closely-held companies whose owners claim their religious rights would be infringed if the firms have to comply with parts of the Affordable Care Act. In particular, they complain about covering certain forms of birth control for employees and their families.

Hobby Lobby objected to providing four of the 20 required contraceptives because they prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s womb,which the owners contend is abortion and violates their religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby has not tried to prevent women from exercising their constitutional right to obtain abortions. However, they do not want to pay for them or for contraception that causes them.

The Hobby Lobby case was not about an individual’s right to choose to have an abortion, but about government’s right to force people opposed to abortions to fund abortion-inducing drugs or devices for their employees. The real issue in this case is the free exercise of religion that is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Court made clear that their ruling only affects closely held private companies.

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