Hobby Lobby Media Information and Fact Sheet

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.:  A Family Business

  • Founded by David Green in an Oklahoma City garage in 1972 with $600 in borrowed funds, Hobby Lobby has always been a family business.  In the company’s early days, David, his wife Barbara and their two sons, Steve and Mart, would work together building frames around the kitchen table.  The first retail location was just 300 square feet.
  • Today, the family business has grown into more than 556 stores in 41 states – and 70 more scheduled to open in 2014 – with over 16,000 full-time employees. Hobby Lobby’s headquarters are still located near the family’s home in Oklahoma City.
  • Yet the company remains closely held by family members, with David Green continuing to serve as CEO and founder and his son, Steve Green, as Hobby Lobby’s president.  Mart serves as the founder and CEO of another family business, Mardel Christian and Educational Supply.
  • The Green family believes that “it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured.” Therefore they seek to honor God by “operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”  The Greens live out their evangelical Christian faith in every aspect of their business, including:

Generous treatment of employees:

    • Hobby Lobby’s minimum full-time hourly wages are now more than 90 percent above the federal minimum wage. Minimum wages for part-time employees are also well above the average for retail.  Hobby Lobby has increased its minimum wage for full-time hourly employees by $1 an hour five years in a row.  In addition, the company has added thousands of jobs in the last year alone at a time of slow employment growth nationwide.
    • Moreover, the Greens and their family businesses are fully committed to a true work-life balance for their employees.  To allow them to spend time with their families, Hobby Lobby stores are open only 66 hours per week and close most nights at 8 p.m.   In particular, as part of that commitment to employees and their families, Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sundays – the most productive and profitable day of the week for any retail business.
    • All full-time employees are eligible to enroll in a generous benefit plan for a retail organization: including medical, dental, prescription drugs, along with long-term disability and life insurance.  In addition, Hobby Lobby offers an on-site health clinic at its headquarters open to all full-time employees, including family members covered under the company’s health insurance plan, open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with no co-pay for insured employees for an office visit.

A commitment to giving:

    • In 2010, Founder and CEO David Green and his wife, Barbara, signed on to the Giving Pledge, agreeing to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. In the letter announcing the donation, Green said, “From helping orphanages in faraway lands to helping ministries in America, Hobby Lobby has always been a tool for the Lord’s work. For me and my family, charity equals ministry, which equals the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
    • In addition, a generous portion of the profits of the Green family businesses is devoted to charitable and ministry organizations.
    • The company also places full-page ads at Christmas and Easter in all of the major cities where they operate in order to share the company’s convictions.

Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.

  • On November 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., a case arising out of further commitment of the Green family and Hobby Lobby to live out their deeply held religious convictions.
  • These principles were put to the test when the federal government mandated that the Greens and their family businesses provide four specific potentially life-terminating drugs and devices through their employee health plan in conflict with their deeply held religious convictions. While the Green family has no moral objection to providing 16 of the 20 FDA-approved drugs and devices that are part of the federal mandate, providing drugs or devices that have the potential to terminate a life conflicts with their faith.
  • Accordingly, the Greens and their family businesses filed suit in September 2012 to defend their right to religious freedom under the Constitution and federal law. Throughout, the Greens have been assisted and represented in the legal case by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit, public-interest legal and educational institute with a mission to protect the free expression of all faiths.
  • In a landmark decision in June 2013, the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the religious rights of the Greens and their family businesses to conduct business in a way consistent with their religious beliefs – the first definitive ruling against the federal mandate.  In its ruling, the Court noted that the Greens “allow their faith to guide business decisions” and that the mandate substantially burdened their faith under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  • In July 2013, a federal court granted a preliminary injunction preventing the federal government from enforcing the federal mandate against the Greens and their family businesses.
  • In October 2013, after the federal government asked the Supreme Court to review the case, the Green family took the unusual step of agreeing that the nation’s highest court should consider the matter. With the Supreme Court’s decision to accept Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., the Green family and the Becket Fund are hopeful that the Supreme Court will clarify once and for all that religious freedom should be protected for family business owners like the Greens. The Supreme Court is expected to decide the issue in its current 2013-2014 term.

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