Hot on the heels of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Hobby Lobby, new guidelines issued by the EEOC caution employers against dropping contraceptives from employee health insurance plans or risk facing liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for gender discrimination.
In June, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, the United States
Supreme Court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)
protects closely held corporations from being compelled by the
Affordable Care Act to provide certain forms of contraceptive coverage
to its employees, if such coverage violates the owners’ sincerely held
religious beliefs. The following day, the Supreme Court issued rulings
that suggested that the right not to provide contraceptive services
extends beyond the specific methods at issue in the Hobby Lobbydecision.
In the wake of these rulings, the question of whether employers will
eliminate all contraceptive coverage from the insurance plans offered to
their employees remains to be seen.
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