UPDATED: Supreme Court-Hobby Lobby-Personification of Business
UPDATED: June 30, 2014
The Supreme Court on Monday dealt a setback to the Affordable Care Act, ruling that employers with religious objections can refuse to pay for contraception.
In a 5-4 decision handed down by conservative justice Samuel Alito, the court sided with arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby over the federal government. The decision could lead to other challenges from for-profit corporations who seek to refuse coverage for other medical procedures at odds with religious beliefs.
What this really does is set precedent that a business can be personified, (taking on the characteristics of a human). So using the same US Supreme Court Ruling can we now say that a company took on the characteristics of a sociopath and damaged the company or its employees, consumers, patients, shareholders and taxpayers?
While this decision hurts women (limits the types of birth control/not covering RU486) I’d challenge people to take a page from The Sociopathic Business Model™ and use it against criminals for #ForcedAccountability from companies personifying a sociopath. I know for than a few attorneys interested in applying ruling to the traditional EEOC cases. This does not however mean any one person in the company is a sociopath. It means that good, non-abusive, ethical people are often forced to commit crimes either knowingly or unknowingly on behalf of their employer. Often again over lack of willful knowledge or fear of retaliation and or wrongful termination. Fear is a powerful motivator used by criminals within a company.
March 24, 2014
I’ve been following Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, (to exempt their for-profit corporation from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that companies with more than 50 employees offer health plans covering contraception) with great interest but not for religious reasons or even women’s rights and here’s why: (1)What this really does is set precedent that a business can personified, so can it then be charged that under the same rule a company treated their employees (2) If approved can an employee also not charge under the same rule that the company took on human characteristics of a sociopath?
It’s the personification of a business that interests me and more importantly if this precedent setting case does find in favor of Hobby Lobby then an argument could be made that an organization could also be operating under The Sociopathic Business Model™ where an organization is taking on the characteristics of a sociopath. This would help employees who have seen their EEOC rights violated or where employers asked or expected employees to engage in illegal activity on the company’s behalf. While personally I think employers should not dictate what prescriptions their employees take or do not take, there is a part of me that hopes we see the first case of legally personifying a business.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a key part of the case, was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton to reverse the effects of the Supreme Court’s 1990 Employment Division v. Smith decision, in which the court decided an American Indian man who took peyote for religious purposes lacked a constitutional right to violate federal drug law.
We can look at Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative Catholic, who authored the majority opinion that the RFRA rebuked. In that opinion, Scalia warned that liberally granting exceptions to laws based on religious belief would be “courting anarchy.” (2) It’s unclear how Scalia’s dire warning will influence his approach to the contraceptive dispute. Years ago I read a book on the Supreme Court Justices (I know-it was for fun-I really do need to get out more) that stated Scalia always to referred to himself in the third person-so tomorrow’s decision shouldn’t be lacking in ego. We’ll know more tomorrow.
Read More Here Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes Laysoff 400 US employees right before the 4th of July-How American!
Here JNJ & WSJ Advertising Case Study
You know what… Think about it this way.
Hobby Lobby is fighting to get Big Brother out of controlling what this company wants to provide for health care. The company’s current policy, by the way, DOES have contraceptives in the package. Your problem is you want murdering babies, that haven’t been born yet, to be included in the package too and Hobby Lobby disagrees.
That aside, if a person has Hobby Lobby’s health care, as it presently exists, and discovers they are pregnant and want to “take care of’ this baby before it is born, they have to pay for it themselves. Under any of the Obama-care plans, The deductible is so ridiculously high, THEY’RE PROBABLY PAYING FOR IT THEMSELVES ANYWAY!
It’s the personification of a business that interests me and I believe I said, “While personally I think employers should not dictate what prescriptions their employees take or do not take, there is a part of me that hopes we see the first case of legally personifying a business.” I appreicate your points and commenting but I’m looking at this not from a healthcare angle but the personfication of a business to support The Sociopathic Business Model™. Thanks for reading!
Government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations. Bah!
I don’t think this is “great”; but, from my understanding birth control is covered just not the RU486 pill. I’m ok with personal accountability in 99% of these situations (rape the exclusion). Again it’s if we can human personify a corporation and take a right from an individual shouldn’t by the same ruling we be able to sue a company for the same personification for taking away an employees’ rights if a company is acting like a sociopath? Taking a page from their playbook and using it against them.
I can see your points on how this SCOTUS decision in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood opens up the potential for some craziness (using your sociopath analogy) and how people could take advantage of the court’s ruling.
Ultimately though, a corporation is made up of individuals that own it. Individuals that have individual beliefs that are still present at 8am on Monday when the doors open to the business. Courts may have gotten it right when it comes to Religious Freedom, but it opens up a lot for future interpretation now that precedence has been set.
Similarly, since marriage is being redefined by the courts as not just between a man or a woman, precedence is being set there too. Now we are opening marriage up to interpretation using that same argument. It won’t be long until someone files a lawsuit because their state won’t recognize their marriage to their dog. If same sex marriage is allowed, then a person should be allowed to marry a minor or their favorite pet. Crazy? Yes, but that’s the slippery slope.
An organization is a person.
Marriage can be between anyone and anything.
Unfortunately, this is the air we breathe.
Thanks for reading and responding. I’ve enjoyed your twitter posts. What about today when Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes announced 400 employees laid off while they’re in the midst of paying $3 BILLION for all the hip recalls? And while they showed an 8% increase in Q1 profits? Those 400 people were accomplices until they today became victims and had little or no control over how the overall company acted unethically or illegally or even possibly sociopathically. I hear what you’re saying that a company is made up of individuals but mmmmaybe Hobby Lobby opened the door to hold a company accountable by the same measure. Or at the very least maybe we can start banning some of the CEO’s who are repeat offenders? If we always do what we always did we’ll always get what we always got. I guess the real question is if you think the industry needs to change or if you think it’s ok as is?