We reported a couple of weeks ago the U.S. Senate’s passage of a defense spending bill that included an amendment drafted by Minnesota Sen. Al Franken prohibiting government contracts from being given to companies that won’t let their employees go to court if they have been raped or sexually assaulted in the workplace.
The amendment, which was inspired by a case involving a female employee of Halliburton who worked in Iraq, was adopted by a 68-30 vote in the Senate.
Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss were among the 30 Republicans who voted not to adopt the amendment that would give people working for defense contractors legal recourse if they are sexually assaulted on the job. At the time, I asked the press offices for both senators to explain why they opposed the amendment. Neither senate office responded to the inquiry.
The Houston County Sun, thankfully, was able to finally get a public comment from the two senators on their vote against an amendment to allow rape victims to seek legal redress in the courts.
Isakson: “This would be a major, fundamental change in U.S. labor law and I believe it would be very detrimental to employees to eliminate arbitration as an option.”
Chambliss: “If that happens, these employees’ only recourse will be to litigate suits in court, which is a very lengthy, expensive and time-consuming process.”
In other words, it’s more important to prevent “expensive” litigation than it is to help victims of sexual assault. Glad we got that cleared up.