Religious Exemption

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Additional ACA Birth Control Mandate Cases

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the consolidated appeals of seven cases involving employer provision of birth control under the Affordable Care Act. In its 2013 Hobby Lobby case, the Court concluded that the...more

New Affordable Care Act FAQs Provide Guidance on Preventive Services, Wellness Programs and Mental Health Parity

On October 23, 2015, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury (the “Agencies”) jointly released their twenty-ninth (XXIX) set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Affordable Care Act (ACA)...more

Congress Clears Bill to Block ACA Change to Definition of Small Employer; House Votes to Broaden ACA Religious Exemption

The House and Senate have approved a bill (H.R. 1624) that would amend the Affordable Care Act’s definition of “small employer” to reduce the number of employers covered by new health insurance coverage requirements set to go...more

Business without bias: Avoid LGBT discrimination or pay the price

It’s apparent that societal attitudes are changing toward the LGBT community. Before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide, many states had already done so. In other areas, however, the legal status of...more

Lessons Employers Can Learn from Kentucky Clerk’s Same-Sex Marriage License Dispute

Almost every day the news carries an additional story about Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who has defied the Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Kim Davis story may be...more

Illinois law now requires children to be vaccinated

Illinois law requires students to provide proof of immunization to be admitted into school. Until now, parents could exempt their students from this requirement for either medical or religious reasons. When based on...more

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

New Vaccine Requirement for Illinois Students Creates Confusion

Students, parents, and school districts should be mindful of new immunization requirements that go into effect for the 2015-16 school year. The changes include a requirement imposed by Public Act 98-0480 and related...more

Obama Administration Finalizes Regulations on ACA Coverage of Preventive Services, Including Contraceptive Services

The Obama Administration published final regulations on July 14, 2015 that implement Affordable Care Act requirements regarding coverage without cost sharing of certain preventive services, including contraceptive services....more

Final Regulations Issued Concerning ACA’s Preventive Services Mandate

Last week the Agencies (DOL, HHS and IRS) issued final regulations concerning ACA’s preventive services mandate. This mandate requires non-grandfathered plans to cover specific preventive services, such as immunizations,...more

Feds Define Which “Closely Held Corporations” Are Eligible to Opt Out of Contraception Mandate Under ACA

One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. et al, that for-profit closely held corporations must be permitted to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate on...more

Spiritual Director Doesn't Have a Prayer When it Comes to Her Discrimination and Termination Claims

Religious employers can rejoice once again, as yet another court upholds the ministerial exception and dismisses an employee's discrimination and termination claims....more

The NLRB Appears To Clear The Path Toward Greater Unionization Of Private Colleges And Universities

In a decision notable for not just one, but two revisions to established National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) analytical framework, the Board appears to open the door toward increased unionization of private...more

Supreme Court Decides Holt v. Hobbs

On January 20, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Holt v. Hobbs, No. 13-6827, holding that the Arkansas Department of Correction’s grooming policy violates Section 3 of the Religious Land Use and...more

The Contraception Coverage Controversy Continues…

As we have been discussing, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires all health plans to cover preventive health services for women, including all Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)-approved contraceptives, at no cost (i.e....more

I Can't Work Saturday, I am Working at a Food Drive That Was Organized by My Church...What's an Employer to Do?

It is no secret that controlling costs in today’s Automotive Industry is a must. Companies are employing smaller workforces to cut labor costs and are using real time ordering and supply to cut inventory surpluses and better...more

This Hobby Lobby Proposal Is Much Mistaken

Suzanne Weakley, editor-in-chief of the CEB Business Law Practitioner, recently called my attention to this letter from six professors at U.C. Berkeley (Robert P. Bartlett III, Richard Buxbaum, Stavros Gadinis, Justin...more

Conn. Killer's Kosher Request Illustrates National Debate

A Muslim prisoner has taken Arkansas prison officials to the U.S. Supreme Court for refusing to allow him to grow a one-inch beard for religious purposes. In New Mexico, a prisoner sued corrections officials for not allowing...more

Seven Key Supreme Court Cases for Retailers to Watch

The Supreme Court of the United States is ending its summer recess and will start hearing oral arguments next week. There are seven key cases on the Court’s docket for the current term that could affect retailers. Here is a...more

Post-Hobby Lobby Questions Remain About the Scope of Corporate Religious Freedom

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a challenge to regulations mandating that employers provide contraceptive coverage for their employees. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Court found the regulations promulgated by the...more

Fifth Circuit Says Community Service Can Be Protected Religious Practice

Title VII requires employers to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs and practices. Understandably, courts are reluctant to make judicial determinations as to what are and what are not sincere religious activities. Last...more

Employment Flash - September 2014

In This Issue: - SEC Pays First Whistleblower Award to Audit and Compliance Professional - Supreme Court Allows Affordable Care Act Contraceptives Religious Exemption - EEOC Adopts New Pregnancy...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update

As summer rolls to a close, the agencies continue to make announcements and roll out additional regulations. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) introduced the new CEO of, awarded grants to 147...more

Government Issues New Rules for Religious Employers, But Health Plans, TPAs, and PBMs are still on the Hook to Provide...

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires that non-grandfathered health plans make preventive care and screenings available to their members at no cost (i.e. no deductibles, coinsurance, or co-payments). The Department of...more

DOL Issues Post-Hobby Lobby Guidance for Closely Held For-Profits Making Changes in Contraception Coverage

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance for closely held for-profit corporations that wish to exclude coverage of any contraceptives under their health plans in the wake of the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Supreme Court...more

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