Go Senator Al! Al Franken successfully introduced legislation that denies federal contracts to companies that have policies -- anywhere in the world -- that punish employees for complaining about rape or discrimination on the job. This is in response to a KBR/Halliburton employee in Iraq who was drugged and gang-raped by co-workers and denied justice or even medical treatment, then locked in a storage container for 24 hours and told that she'd lose her job if she left the country to get medical help. She was also prohibited from suing or seeking criminal justice because her Halliburton contract forbade seeking any justice apart from private arbitration.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) tried to block the amendment, saying that it was a "a political attack directed at Halliburton." Franken replied, "This amendment does not single out a single contractor. This amendment would defund any contractor that refuses to give a victim of rape their day in court."
Sessions' brave defense of the right of private companies to deny justice to drugged and gang-raped employees should not be forgotten. Truly, the man is a model of moral principle.
[Franken]: "The constitution gives everybody the right to due process of law ... And today, defense contractors are using fine print in their contracts do deny women like Jamie Leigh Jones their day in court. ... The victims of rape and discrimination deserve their day in court [and] Congress plainly has the constitutional power to make that happen..."
Appearing with Franken after the vote, an elated Jones expressed her deep appreciation. "It means the world to me," she said of the amendment's passage. "It means that every tear shed to go public and repeat my story over and over again to make a difference for other women was worth it."
Franken Wins Bipartisan Support For Legislation Reining In KBR's Treatment Of Rape (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.