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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Halliburton gone wild

Posted by: Jambo / 1:16 PM

This is just unconscionable. A young woman in Iraq is gang raped by her fellow Halliburton/KBR contractors and then locked in a storage container so she won't talk. A US congressman intervenes to get her released but there are no criminal charges possible because, well, I guess contractors are a law unto themselves. But at least she can bring a civil suit back home, right?

Since no criminal charges have been filed, the only other option, according to Hutson, is the civil system, which is the approach that Jones is trying now. But Jones' former employer doesn't want this case to see the inside of a civil courtroom. KBR has moved for Jones' claim to be heard in private arbitration [where there will be no public record], instead of a public courtroom. It says her employment contract requires it.

So, no jury trial for you, missy. There may be a legitimate reason for contractor criminal immunity (I don't think there is but at least an argument can be made) but the arbitration agreement is just plain old corporate ass covering and it stinks. Yeah, we're not as bad as Saudi Arabia where you can get publicly whipped for the crime of being raped, but as the old saying goes, it's not that we're the same, it's that we're not different enough.

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I have a hard time understanding why gang rape and imprisonment would be governed by an any kind of employment contract.

In other words, when agreeing to work for KBR, she waived some of her right sto sue KBR. I'm assuming she waived her right to sue KBR for claims arising based on her employment. I don't think the parties would have believed that gang rape would be included in an employment contract.

By Blogger Hammer, at 7:48 AM  

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