A new lawsuit against Hobby Lobby claims that the business intentionally discriminated against its employees when it tried to enforce a mandate that their employees use certain birth control measures. The employers were attempting to meet the requirement in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by requiring employees to get either a particular birth control plan or else pay a fee for contraception. According to the complaint filed by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Hobby Lobby’s management instructed its employees to go into the stores without contraceptive devices. Further, the DOL and the NWLC claim that this action caused numerous women to be unable to obtain certain types of birth control. Both the DOL and the National Women’s Law Center are seeking class-action status for this lawsuit.
If successful, the Hobby Lobby birth control lawsuit will not only seek damages on behalf of the plaintiffs, but also seek to enjoin the company from taking actions that discriminate against employees. In addition, the lawsuit is seeking to ensure that all employees are provided the same contraceptive care, and that they are able to purchase birth control as well as other forms of insurance coverage. The plaintiffs are asking for back pay for their time spent obtaining the required forms, as well as additional punitive damages claim. However, Hobby Lobby argues that the complaint is based on information that was taken out of context and that any harm to the company was due to bad timing rather than discrimination. Additionally, Hobby Lobby argues that the contraceptive mandate in the ACA cannot be enjoined under any circumstances.
For Hobby Lobby, the ultimate goal is not only to be vindicated in a court of law, but to send a clear message to employers around the country that they cannot discriminate against employees on religious grounds. For many people, the Hobby Lobby case may represent the most important challenge to religious freedom in many decades. While Hobby Lobby’s owners have said that their business does not endorse any religion, many of its customers have been targeted because of their religious beliefs. The birth control lawsuit is expected to go to trial later this year.
There is already some resistance to the lawsuit from some religious organizations and anti-choice groups. Some argue that the requirement that Hobby Lobby provide coverage for contraceptives on its website, is an illegal use of government power. Others say that the lawsuit is driven by the fact that birth control pills can prevent a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in the womb. Opponents of the lawsuit claim that providing coverage for birth control pills could violate the rights of those who do not wish to take their medications or who do not wish to undergo invasive procedures to obtain birth control. They say that the plaintiffs have no right to control their own bodies.
Those who support the birth control lawsuit claim that the requirement that Hobby Lobby provide coverage for certain forms of birth control against their employees goes against the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution and the guarantee of equal protection under the law. They say that the mandate is a violation of the rights of religious individuals and employers. The group has asked the court to force the company to provide coverage for three contraceptives that are closely related to fertility like the combined birth control pill and its intrauterine device. They have also asked the court to force the company not to refer to its own version of birth control as a “morning after pill” or “the pill.”
Hobby Lobby has denied that it provides any form of contraceptives, arguing that it merely provides a reference to another form of birth control. It also says that it provides no medical advice and does not practice involuntary sterilization. The company has said that it will appeal the case to the US Supreme Court. The government has 30 days to respond to the request from Hobby Lobby. It has not yet decided whether it will drop the appeal. A hearing date has been set for later this month.