Hobby Lobby: A new tool for crushing workplace unionization?
A little-known religious exemption to United States labor law may have just become extremely important, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby. By declaring that “closely held” corporations may hold religious beliefs, the court may have provided businesses with a new tool for crushing workplace unionization drives. In addition to declaring themselves exempt from contraception mandates and non-discrimination laws, religious employers may soon be able to argue for an exemption from collective bargaining laws. “All you need is one employer saying, ‘My religious beliefs tell me I shouldn’t collectively bargain,’” said Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. If an employer takes the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to court and uses that argument, it could set the table for a major court battle over the future of union rights in nominally religious workplaces. Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC, 7-15-14.