PITTSBURGH The owners of a Missouri-based scrap metal conglomerate have sued the U.S. government, claiming that the Affordable Care Act violates their freedom of religion.
Paul Griesedieck and Henry Griesedieckwho hold the controlling interest in Springfield Iron & Metal LLC, Springfield; American Pulverizer Co. and City Welding, both based in St. Louis; and Hustler Conveyor Co. in OFallonare suing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Treasury and U.S. Department of Labor. They contend that the Affordable Care Act requires them to offer health-care options, such as paying for certain contraceptive methods, that violate their religious beliefs under the First Amendment, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Missouri.
In their lawsuit, the Griesediecks said that while there is a temporary "safe harbor" allowance on the matter that exempts religious employers from compliance, they are not a so-called "religious employer" and thus have no protection.
The lawsuit requests that the court block implementation of the health-care mandate to stop it from being enforced when the company renews its three health insurance policies, which cover about 175 employees.
Neither Griesedieck could be reached for comment.