Mennonite-owned company faces fines for failing to comply with ACA

Written by Megan Lello | Jan 14, 2013 4:02 AM

(Chadds Ford) -- Heavy fines are being imposed on a Mennonite-owned business in Lancaster County that's refusing to adhere to a portion of the Affordable Care Act.

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The owners and operators of East Earl-based Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation had filed a lawsuit against the federal government claiming the requirement that employers must provide health insurance offering contraceptives is "directly at odds" with their religious beliefs.

But a judge has ruled against the company's request for a temporary injunction.

Charles Proctor is the attorney for Anthony Hahn, Norman Hahn, and Norman Lemar Hahn, with Conestoga. He says the group plans to appeal, objecting to the severe fines the company would have to pay for failing to adhere to the law. "You know, if this was $100 a day fine for the company, that's one thing. But $100 a day per employee, as I said in court, this puts the Hahns between a rock and a hard place, the rock being their religious conscience and the hard place being the $95,000 a day in fines."

About 40 similar lawsuits have been filed against the federal government.

Under the law, religious institutions don't have to comply with the provision, but private businesses, like Conestoga, do.

Proctor says he'll try to speed up the appeal process so the company won't be on the hook for the fines and expects the case to be before a judge soon.

For more information about the Affordable Care Act, check out witf's multimedia project, Transforming Health.


Published in Lancaster, News

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Comments: 2

  • img 2013-01-14 14:44

    This is rediculous to fine this company because they are practicing their constitutional right of religion in the first Amendment of our federal constitution. To not prohibit free speech, freedom of the press or freedom of relgion nor the free exerdice thereof. Which includes following our conscience before God our creator and for Christians this is found in the King James Version Holy Bible. And they should not be fined at all and this wicked law should be done away with since it violates Americans constitutional rights. And all Americans wether Christian or not should help and support this woodworking company by buying their products and standing up and speaking for them since one day they will be after you also. Sincerely ;

  • hatfield604 img 2013-01-14 17:15

    I agree with the point of the article and the comments by "geomission2". But I would point out the reason the furniture company is being denied their claim is the same as many other companies, including larger corporations such as Hobby Lobby stores and Tyndale House Publishing: While the government is willing to offer this exemption to CHURCHES and other places of worship (Mosques, Temples and Watch Towers) they are not willing to offer it to privately owned companies that are in business to make a profit.

    They define the two differently, so one receives exemption and the other does not.

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