A Lancaster County company that mounted a legal challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s contraception requirement has been granted a two-week reprieve on fines totaling $95,000 a day.
An injunction granted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Dec. 28 gives Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. 14 days without having to pay the fines while the civil case progresses. Without the injunction, a fine of $100 per employee per day would have begun Jan. 1, when the company renewed its health care coverage.
“This case, and Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, involve complex issues of first impression regarding the ACA, which no other court in this Circuit has decided,” the injunction said. “Courts from outside of this Circuit who have considered the issues raised here have reached different results.”
The Hahn family, which owns the East Earl-based company, cited its Mennonite faith in opposing the requirement to provide contraceptives, which includes what they consider abortifacients. PPACA includes an exception for religious employers, which Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation does not qualify as.
PPACA defines religious employers as those that have the inculcation of religious values as their purpose, primarily employ those who share their religious tenets, primarily serve those who share their religious tenets and are nonprofits under two specific sections of the Internal Revenue Code code.