Hobby Lobby owner gives employees reason to celebrate

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: April 17, 2013
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Hobby Lobby is a company that secular liberals like to dislike. Thus, the loudest lobby for a higher minimum wage doesn't celebrate a company whose base wage is 93 percent higher than Uncle Sam's.

The Oklahoma City retailer with a 23,000-person workforce has raised its minimum wage for full-timers for the fifth straight year. The news comes just ahead of oral arguments in Hobby Lobby's legal fight over Obamacare's overreach into business practices.

Hobby Lobby founder David Green is unapologetic for his Christian beliefs. His stores are closed on Sundays and Green buys full-page ads at Christmas and Easter celebrating the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Hobby Lobby's base wage for full-time workers was hiked from $13 an hour to $14. For part-timers, the increase was from $9 to $9.50. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 — which isn't even close to what President Barack Obama would like it to be. Liberals should be applauding Hobby Lobby's move.

Obama's signature program, the Affordable Care Act, mandates that companies cover emergency contraceptives in employee health plans. This crosses a line that Green thinks shouldn't be crossed. So Hobby Lobby is challenging the mandate in federal court, with the assistance of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Hobby Lobby faces potential fines of up to $1.3 million a day starting in July if it fails to comply with the law and/or doesn't prevail in the challenge.

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