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Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Leigh Jones’

By now, you’ve probably heard about the story of Jamie Leigh Jones. In 2005, she was working for a Halliburton subsidiary in Iraq when she was gang-raped by coworkers. Four years later, Jamie is still being denied justice.

Jamie can’t pursue justice in criminal court because the rape took place overseas, and a forced arbitration clause in her contract takes away her right to file a lawsuit in the U.S. Big corporations, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have worked for years to prevent workers from suing their employers in almost any circumstance, even sexual assault, by inserting forced arbitration language into their contracts. No one should ever be forced into arbitration just by taking a job.

Sign our petition telling the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to stop opposing the rights of rape and discrimination victims!

Concerned activists like you helped urge lawmakers to pass Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3326). The Franken Amendment would prevent defense contractors from requiring their employees to sign away their rights, ending once-and-for-all the practice of covering up sexual assault and discrimination claims by forcing them into arbitration.

But, shockingly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fighting the Franken Amendment. It sent a letter to Congress saying that it would “set a dangerous precedent” to allow rape victims into court. Sign our petition telling the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to stop opposing the rights of victims of rape and discrimination! Go to http://www.fairarbitrationnow.org.

Jamie has teamed up with organizations like Public Citizen, MoveOn.org, and others to end this injustice. Congress is still finalizing the defense appropriations bill, and considering whether to keep the Franken Amendment. Meanwhile the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is waging a massive lobbying campaign.

Don’t let the Chamber of Commerce kill the Franken Amendment! Stand up for victims of sexual assault and discrimination. Then, forward this petition to your friends so we can deliver a strong message to the Chamber of Commerce and Congress.

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Sen. Al Franken, the new patron saint of fair arbitration, tore into an arbitration apologist Wednesday, administering a beating that one would more expect to see in a boxing ring than a committee hearing room. If you don’t believe me, watch for yourself.

Poor Mark de Bernardo, a partner at corporate-side employment law firm Jackson Lewis LLP, was on the receiving end, Franken poked holes in everything from de Bernardo’s underlying argument, to his command of the “facts” he cited, to the accuracy of the footnotes in his written statement. Watch the video and count how many times the senator cuts off de Bernardo’s equivocation with variations on the theme of, “Please answer yes or no, sir.”

Franken didn’t spend the whole afternoon on the offensive, however. He began his time by thanking Jamie Leigh Jones for her “courage,” “persistence,” and “strength.” As we reported last week, Jones may finally get her day in court – for some of her claims – four years after she was raped and nearly two-and-a-half years after she first filed suit. We wish her best of luck with her case.

Meanwhile, there’s been more press coverage of the Franken Amendment we mentioned last week. In the mainstream press, ABC and the AP wrote on the bill, which passed the Senate by the comfy margin of 68-30. The blogosphere noticed it as well, with stories appearing in the Huffington Post, Think Progress, and Consumerist. The thirty “nay” votes triggered a fair amount of snark, with Kos headlining “GOP backs corporate rape” and Wonkette doing what they do best.

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