Career Calling

July 16, 2014

Hobby Lobby, Minimum Wage, and Workers Rights


Life is settle a matter of white and black. Hobby Lobby has come under fire for its role in the Supreme Court’s decision that will let the company not pay for certain kinds of birth control. As someone who supports workers’ rights, this case bothers me and makes me afraid that much worse is to come from the Supreme Court. On the issue of minimum wage, however, Hobby Lobby is something of a trailblazer. According to Demos, a left-leaning think tank, the company raised its minimum wage to $14 per hour in 2013. Demos points out that Hobby Lobby will win greater worker loyalty by paying a higher wage. It also is closed on Sunday, which means that every employee gets that day off. However, a year later, the company has lost some of that good will by its stance on paying for birth control options. An employee who is forced to pay for contraception might resent this restriction and the religious motivation behind it. My fear is that the Hobby Lobby case and other recent Supreme Court decisions will let companies take even more liberties with workers’ rights. What if a company says that its religious beliefs require women to dress a certain way? What if a company refuses to hire gays based on religious beliefs? I can’t argue with what Hobby Lobby pays as a minimum wage, but the Supreme Court’s decision that a company’s religious beliefs puts us on a very slippery slope.


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