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.