Church-State Watchdog Group Says Owners Of Secular Corporations Have No Right To Impose Their Theology On Workers
“Interpreting religious freedom in a way that allows for-profit corporations to make moral and medical decisions for their workers stands that principle on its head,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “This court made the right call.”
Added Lynn, “The religious beliefs and practices of the owners of this company are in no way infringed because some of their workers might choose to use birth control.”
“We simply conclude that the law has long recognized the distinction between the owners of a corporation and the corporation itself,” wrote Judge Robert Cowen. “A holding to the contrary – that a for-profit corporation can engage in religious exercise – would eviscerate the fundamental principle that a corporation is a legally distinct entity from its owners.”
“The court's decision prevents companies from imposing their owners' religious beliefs on their employees,” asserted Gregory M. Lipper, senior litigation counsel at Americans United. “It frees employees to make their own medical decisions. And the precedent protects a range of federal laws – designed to help workers and prevent discrimination – from attack by for-profit corporations."