This whole situation is truly mind boggling. It's ironic that the person to drive this into the limelight is the Senator that everyone likes to think is a joke. Nothing about rape is a laughing matter.
This is absolutely mind boggling.
In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad... Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration.
Seriously!? In my time I've seen many examples of lawyers abusing the imbalanced negotiating position present in employment contacts but this takes the cake. An agreement not to press charges for rape? Are you fucking kidding me?!
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”
On the Senate floor, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) spoke against the amendment, calling it “a political attack directed at Halliburton.” In the end, Franken won the debate. His amendment passed by a 68-30 vote, earning the support of 10 Republican senators including that of newly-minted Florida Sen. George LeMieux.
30 United States Senators voted against this? What could the basis of their opposition possibly be? Al Franken is not above political grandstanding at all, but when push comes to shove, why would you oppose this? I've searched on Google for an alternative perspective to no avail. Does anyone know a source where these people have articulated their position? As LeMieux put it:
"I can't see in any circumstance that a woman who was a victim of sexual assault shouldn't have her right to go to court."
If anything Franken's amendment does not go far enough. This is prima facie evidence that there is a serious structural problem with employment contracts. No contract clause of this sort ought to be respected in any context relevant to US law and major reform of rules surrounding US employment contracts is needed.
People who voted against this amendment include: