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Pro-Life Hobby Lobby Hates Birth Control, But Still Fired a Woman For Giving Birth

Hobby Lobby took its fight against providing contraception to its employees all the way to the Supreme Court. Now it seems like while the evangelical-owned craft shop does not want to pay for birth control, it does not take care of its pregnant employees either.

In 2010, Felicia Allen started work as a part-time cashier at a Flowood, Mississippi store. Shortly after beginning work, she learned she was already four months pregnant.

Concerned about her job, Allen said she spoke to her supervisor and asked what would happen when she had to take time off to give birth.

“I asked her would I lose my job due to me being four months and only having five months before I have my child. She told me ‘no,’” Allen said. “I felt like everything was OK. I had talked to my boss, and she let me know that everything would be OK. I would still have my job.”

Convinced her job was safe, Allen continued to work during her pregnancy. As her due date neared, however, Allen learned she would be fired if she took unpaid time off to give birth, but could re-apply for her job after the baby was born.

Since she was new to the job, she was also not eligible for protection under the Family Medical Leave Act.

“I was like, I can’t get fired,” Allen said in an interview with RH Reality Check. “She can’t terminate me because I have to go have my child. I started asking everybody on the job, ‘Can they do this?’ And even the assistant manager who had just got hired [said,] ‘No, that’s not right.’”

Soon, she found out that they did not even want her to re-apply and even fought against her collecting unemployment.

“They didn’t even want me to come back after having my baby, to provide for it,” Allen, the mother of three said.

To make matters worse, Allen could not even sue the company for pregnancy discrimination because a clause in her employment contract that requiring Allen to fight her case in binding arbitration – not the courts – and emphasizes Christian-based arbitration.

Allen, though, said that for all that Christian-talk in her contract and the stores public relations,  there is nothing Christian about firing a woman with a new baby who needs the job to feed her kids.

“How can you be Christian and lie about something to hinder your employee or don’t want them to come back after they’ve had their baby?” Allen said. “Or you’re taking up for your manager knowing that they had done the wrong thing. I feel like that’s not being Christian at all. That’s why I don’t even shop there anymore. I used to shop at that store all the time.”

Hobby Lobby has declined to tell their side of tale.

Photo Credit: Felicia Allen

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.