On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of national retailer Hobby Lobby, accepting the privately owned company’s religious objections to certain clauses of the Affordable Care Act. This act requires employers to provide employee health care coverage, but Hobby Lobby argued that specific types of contraception violated the owners’ religious beliefs.
A concerned group of Ohio lawmakers recently responded to this ruling by introducing the “Not My Boss’ Business Act“. This marks the first statewide effort to protect the health care decisions of women and their health care providers. The act would effectively prevent employers from making decisions that affect women’s access to contraceptives.
As The New York Times detailed in July, corporations throughout the United States already exercise religious freedom by enforcing morally-based policies that affect their employees and customers. From a fast-food chain that closes its doors on Sunday to a hotel that stopped selling X-rated pay-per-view content, companies have always been able to accommodate the moral values of their owners.
However, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, the justices extended this freedom to the health care decisions that female employees make when they’re off-the-clock. Even religious groups have come out to support this effort. For example, Reverend Kate Shaner condemned the federal ruling and supported the lawmakers’ act. She suggested that women who can’t afford the higher cost of contraceptives would lose their right to bodily autonomy, and that all human beings should be allowed to consult their families, partners, and clergy members—not their employers— about their health care decisions.
Sources: http://www.wspd.com/articles/local-news-toledo-315557/ohio-lawmakers-introduce-not-my-boss-12597126, http://considerthisbyjd.com/, http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/business_law/, http://blogs.findlaw.com/free_enterprise/