Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Small Business Challenge To ACA Mandate Filed

Another for-profit closely-held business has joined the stream of those suing to challenge the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate on the ground that it violates the religious beliefs of the company owners. The complaint (full text) in Gilardi v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (D DC, filed 1/24/2013) challenges the application of the mandate to two related corporations, Freshway Foods and Fresway Logistics, Inc., which process, pack and ship fresh produce. One of the companies has 340 full-time employees, while the other has 55. The two individual plaintiffs, who each own 50% of the shares of each company, are Catholics who believe in the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion, sterilization and contraception. The complaint alleges RFRA, free exercise, free speech and Administrative Procedure Act violations. American Center for Law and Justice issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.