The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that former military contractor Jamie Leigh Jones' 2005 federal lawsuit filed against the Halliburton Corporation and its affiliated subsidiaries can be tried in court rather than undergoing binding arbitration. The Court decided whether Jones' case, which rested on allegations that she was drugged and raped by Halliburton employees in the barracks while stationed as a clerical worker in Baghdad, was directly related to her employment. According to Mother Jones, Jones' employment contract with Halliburton required mandatory binding arbitration for lawsuits related to her employment.
Jones' suit also alleges that she was held in a "prison-like container" guarded by an armed guard for several hours after she reported the alleged assault, according to the Associated Press.
Judge Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale wrote in the Fifth Circuit's opinion (see PDF) that "Halliburton/KBR essentially asks this court to read the arbitration provision so broadly as to encompass any claim related to Jones' employer, or any incident that happened during her employment, but that is not the language of the contract. We do not hold that, as a matter of law, sexual-assault allegations can never 'relate to' someone's employment. For this action, however, Jones' allegations do not 'touch matters' related to her employment, let alone have a 'significant relationship' to her employment contract." Furthermore, she wrote "just as we held that the incident was not 'related to' her employment for purposes of arbitration because she lived in employer-provided housing, we also hold that this fact does not establish the incident occurred 'in or about the workplace'."
Jones said in an e-mail to the Associated Press, "This is wonderful news, not only for me but for those who have been bound into mandatory arbitrations."
Media Resources: Associated Press 9/15/09; Mother Jones 9/16/09; Jamie Leigh Jones v. Halliburton
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .