4 Implications of Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Ruling for Women & Work

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Today the Supreme Court announced their ruling regarding the Hobby Lobby case concerning their request to not allow contraceptives under the Obamacare mandate or face millions in fine and penalities. They ruled in the favor of Hobby Lobby. Click here to read the full story. I, personally, will not be shopping in Hobby Lobby any time soon.They are alienating not only their target customer of female customers but also their ideal candidate. Talk about the worst type of candidate experience offering.

Don’t get me started on the type of company culture this organization has created. It’s severely limiting itself to a very targeted employee and recruiting base, but then again, maybe this is their strategy. The Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court states that Hobby Lobby and other family-owned corporations can deny health insurance coverage for some contraceptives if they object to them on religious grounds. There’s more to this than just an anti-abortion or pro-choice discussion at stake. Here are some implications workplaces and leaders may not have considered as a result of this decision by our Supreme Court with regard to Hobby Lobby.

4 Implications of Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Ruling for Women & Work

  • Forces the Hand of the Free Agent Workforce. The only way to avoid a company’s political agenda is to be a free agent putting the individual person in the driver’s seat of their own personal political agenda and benefit offerings. This is the direction I believe that we are already heading as people are looking for ways to have flexible hours and projects that allow them to live their life on their terms fully.
  • Handicaps Women in the Workforce. Contraceptives were one of the main catalysts for women in the workforce and equality. This isn’t about religion. It’s about the ability for a woman to choose when, where and how they begin a family. Women don’t have the luxury of having 2 minutes of passion with the ability to walk away from responsibility like our male counterparts. I’m in favor of our employees to be adult how they use their own health insurance offerings. The Hobby Lobby decision alienates women and their right to choose when it comes to having a family.
  • Religion Now Plays a (Larger or New) Role at Work. Previously religion was only a workplace issue in non-profit religious organizations and church establishments. The line is now blurred when it comes to companies sharing religious beliefs and possibly politics at work. This completely contradicts the direction the law has been moving concerning equality for marriage and discrimination in the workplace.  I now have to consider a company’s religious beliefs before making my benefit selections at a company.
  • Recruiting is Now a Political or Religious Activity. As an HR professional with her background in retail, I would be all over this decision because it severely limits Hobby Lobby’s ability to recruit and hire effectively. This is an opportunity for companies who are looking to aggressively recruit away management, staff and corporate employees away from the Hobby Lobby organization. As a recruiter, I would be looking at Facebook graph search for Hobby Lobby employees and other social networks to engage them as we well as some targeted Facebook ads in addition to traditional guerilla recruiting tactics to staff my retail store and company.

Those of you that read the blog know that we don’t often take political sides to decisions but this one is extremely far reaching and important as it isn’t just about religion but freedom of choice and women in the workplace. In an industry where upwards of 75% of HR professionals are women, this is extremely important topic for our industry.

Check out our free webinar on the Affordable Care Act requirements for businesses and HR by clicking here to access our Learning Management System. HRCI credit available. Always free and always on demand. 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. Laurel says

    I’ve never shopped at a Hobby Lobby and will not in the future, nor any other company that follows this lead. Agree 1000% with your blog today.

  2. Miriam says

    This was a setback in my opinion. Thanks for touching a delicate subject. You are very right.


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