Claremore Daily Progress

June 28, 2013

Judge: Hobby Lobby won’t have to pay fines

Kelly P. Kissel
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY —

A federal judge says Hobby Lobby and a sister company will not be subject to daily fines for refusing certain birth-control for workers.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton on Friday set a hearing for July 19 on claims by Hobby Lobby and the Mardel Christian bookstore chain that they should not have to provide some types of birth control, as required under the federal health care overhaul.

The companies faced fines totaling $1.3 million daily beginning Monday. But Heaton ordered the federal government to not impose a penalty.

An appeals court said Thursday the companies could fight the new law on religious grounds but Heaton first had to reconsider an injunction request. Heaton said Hobby Lobby showed it would suffer consequences and that an injunction was in the public interest.