If you had the chance to examine the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case and President Obama’s response to it, you would realize that the religion of your company’s owner can now influence your working environment.
The Supreme Court interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in a more religious friendly way, significantly expanding the influence of religion in the workplace. This decision allows owners of small businesses to imbue their wholly owned corporate entities with their religious beliefs. Further, their right to hold these beliefs now trumps their obligation to comply with certain laws. This imakes the Hobby Lobby case more than a case about birth control, or even about women. The Hobby Lobby case has become a case about how religious beliefs could be enforced in every workplace scenario.
Over the last fifty years, our country has developed a system of laws for the sole purpose of protecting the little guy. We enacted civil rights laws, sex discrimination laws, laws guaranteeing certain employee benefits as well as certain protections from being fired. What happens now if the religious beliefs of the business owners you work for conflict with the laws that ensure theses protections? If the owners of a business are Christian Scientists, does that mean that they do not have to pay for health insurance for their employees? Is that same Christian Scientist owner of that small businesses able to not provide defibrillators (all businesses over 100 employees are required to have defibrillators)? Can they prevent the use of a defibrillator or other lifesaving method when someone has a heart attack? If you are a Muslim or an Orthodox Jew, can you require your female employees to cover in order to comply with your religious beliefs? Can Muslim business owners refuse to hire women because they do not believe men and women should be working together? Could they go as far as refusing to hire African Americans, Hispanics or Jews if they refuse to adopt the Muslim religion? You might have thought the answer to these questions was a resounding no; but is it?
The only limitation on this decision is that it limits ability to exercise their religious freedom to owners of small closely held private corporations. But remember, Hobby Lobby does $3.1 billion in annual sales.