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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.

  • liberalinlove

    I always try to fact check stuff like this before I share. Not sure how to do so because I would post and share as often as possible. This is what my mantra has become. Want to pretend you are a “christian” business, then act like it!

    • Tamar Auber

      Click on where is says ‘Allen said’ and you will get to the original investigative report. That being said, as I pointed out this is HER side of the story as told in an interview and happened in 2010, so cautions apply.

      • liberalinlove

        Thank you so much. As someone committed to justice and to a faith that expects and demands truth, I want to never give someone an excuse to disregard what I have to say.

      • liberalinlove

        The entire article is illuminating! Thanks again!

  • Terry Madison

    This is another business I no longer support.

  • Dave

    Do they only care about white babies?….Just asking….

  • Smooth

    These are not “Christians”!

  • LyndaLBD

    One more reason I’m boycotting HL!

  • Hugh jassin

    Hobby Lobby will change it’s name soon…..To “Out of Business”

  • Beverly Brown

    Sweetie they are Republiclowns/Thugs, now don’t they flip, flop. Always make people put things in writing, always.

  • usmc-tex84

    Has anybody thought about why they didn’t want her to reapply? Perhaps she was a lazy and ineffective worker, of course she’s not going to cop to that herself, maybe hobby lobby did her a favor by letting her stay on and save some money, and then do not want to comment on the case in order to protect her future employment opportunities. I also very seriously doubt, that this woman didn’t know she was pregnant until she was 4 months along. Christian or not, it’s still a business, and businesses know when an employ just isn’t working out.

    • liberalinlove

      A good employer will have a record of helping someone become a good fit by training and helping that person to do what is right.
      Please don’t jump to conclusions one way or the other. Because we are one of the only countries which does not create working conditions for maternity needs. This is a common practice here in the U.S. of letting new mama’s go.
      And as a preacher’s kid, from a fundamental background, I find there is a huge disconnect with rhetoric and actions within the “christian” community.
      Also, lots of women could be unaware of a pregnancy, due to irregular cycles.
      I love to fact check and ask questions and hope that Hobby Lobby will do what is righteous or right, but I’m not holding my breath because doing what is right cuts into profit.

      • usmc-tex84

        We are also one of a handful of countries that allow women to work in the first place. I’m not saying she was or wasn’t a good employee, I am not the one making broad stroke generalizations, if aaaaaaany other business did this you wouldn’t have ever heard about it, but because it is hobby lobby, you liberals seek to continue to attempt to demonize a business for conducting their business. Just because this lady says she didn’t know she was pregnant until 4 months along, doesn’t mean she didn’t, just because she thought herself a model employee doesn’t mean she was, and just because she is pregnant doesn’t mean anyone else is obligated to support her. What I’m getting at is this, if she was a standout employee, I’m sure they would have found some route to keep her around. My guess is that she was probably below average, and so hobby lobby kept her until such a time as she was unable to work allowing her to save some money, and then let her go

        • liberalinlove

          I asked the same questions in an earlier post that you did and was directed to the investigative journalist’s original article.
          What I’m hoping for, is to expect above board behavior from a company, who claims righteous approaches to business.
          The issue for me is, that in this country, pro-life people, of which I am one, often fail to follow up with pro-life support of families after a child is born. I am evangelical by faith but frustrated at the entire lack of follow through with those who vote their faith on perhaps two issues and fail to see how to support a pregnant mom after that baby comes. I personally believe that’s common. Most of my evangelical friends fail to connect the two issues. So calling a company out to address double standards is a safe guard. It could have just been bad management at the local store.

          • usmc-tex84

            What I’m getting at is that you can’t legislate the hiring process, if they don’t want her working there, I’m sure there is something more to it. No one is obligated to employ anyone, and that is the way it should remain, yes it sucks that this woman with child does not have a job, but we can’t force someone to hire her if she is not what they want or need in their place of business. I agree with the double standard issue, but, we also can’t force them to hire or keep employees which they have no need or desire to keep around.

          • liberalinlove

            There are wrongful termination laws that can be applied with legislation. For me this is more about public pressure and making it known what a business is about.

            For my part, I’ve written letters to the current management and corporate offices expressing my concern as to any potential hypocrisy. I am also a Christian, and believe my “fellowship” with other Christians, entitles me to hold them to a higher standard.

            BTW, wrongful termination legislation does not prevent someone from being fired for legitimate reasons. The reasons can be documented and on file and the person can acknowledge during the process those reasons have been addressed and ample time has been given to change.