Anyone care to offer a defense of this? (Franken amendment)

No, that’s the whole point of the amendment. She wasn’t being allowed to “take it to court.”

sigh… You can’t write off legal obligations in a contract. You can write anything you like but that does not make it enforceable. She was allowed to take it to court which is exactly what she did.

So its just a game of “let’s pretend” between employer and employee? How very whimsical.

She took it to court to be able to take it to court. The amendment addresses this issue. 75% of Republican Senators opposed her opportunity to take it to court. Please address this.

Opposed to government interference in sexual harrassment. Could lead to rationing. Rape panels.

I addressed it. It’s designed to get them to vote for something else they don’t want to vote for.

But you haven’t explained why they don’t want to vote for the bill minus the amendment. I have seen no formal opposition to the bill prior to the amendment. Please show me what 75% of Republicans were opposed to in the bill prior to this amendment.

Your continued deflections are obvious to all. Support your assertions.

??? There was a defense approprations bill. A regular bill that deals with money for the military. Straightforward bill. No controversy.

Franken proposed an amendment to this non-controversial bill. This amendment would punish contractors if they “restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”

75% of republican senators voted against THE AMENDMENT.

How exactly would this amendment have made them “vote for something else they don’t want to vote for”.? Was there something terrible in the original defense appropriation bill that we’re not aware of?

You make no sense.
Now if there was a defense appropriation bill on the floor and it contained an amendment that, for example, called for sending Bush II to the Hague for war crimes, I would be perfectly fine for the republicans to vote against this bill, and anyone who said they voted against a defense spending bill would be a moron. But that’s not what is going on here.

I’m sure we’ll have a response, but it won’t be before the talk radio stations frame it tomorrow morning. So far it has been an epic fail.

There’s a debate to be had about the relative merits of arbitration versus the ordinary court system. But it is long been the policy of the federal government–throughout Democratic and Republican administrations and Congresses–to favor the resolution of disputes through ADR. I have a feeling the “secret arbitration” was nothing more dastardly than confidential proceedings before the AAA.

If Franken is spinning this perfectly unexceptional refusal to foreclose on a dispute resolution option for military contractors as evidence that the Republicans want KBR employees to get gang-raped, it’s a pretty clownish distortion on his part.

He’s not. Never was.

What then is it that the OP finds it so difficult to believe is defensible? That the Republicans decided to leave binding arbitration of employment claims as a viable mode of dispute resolution, even if you’re a military contractor. Is this a shocking and deplorable stance in the OPs mind?

I rather think we were supposed to infer something a good deal less anodyne, if you ask me.

You may rather as you will, but you’re misrepresenting the amendment and the OP’s argument. The amendment punishes contractors who require binding arbitration as part of the employment contract for:

In other words, the company can’t make you submit to binding arbitration for cases involving civil rights violations or rape/sexual assault/sexual harassment. It doesn’t say that contractors may not use or require arbitration at all.

The OP is singling out the 30 Republicans who voted against the amendment with the reasonable observation that they’re demonstrably in favour of allowing employers to require that lawsuits arising from ‘internal’ cases of rape go to binding arbitration rather than the courts. The OP thinks that’s indefensible; so do I. It’s absurd that something like a civil suit over rape should be handled by an arbitration committee, and this amendment prevents companies like KBR from requiring that an employee agree to that as a condition of employment.

The time of contract formation is typically when the parties decide the means they’ll use to resolve disputes arising from the contractual relationship. Why shouldn’t they employer be able to say “We want to resolve employment law claims through binding arbitration” (I’ll point out that in union-negotiated collective bargaining agreements, the grievance adjustment procedure is usually specified to be arbitration). If an potential employee doesn’t care for that clause, they can decide to work for someone else.

Finally, the criminal case doesn’t go through arbitration. No employment contract can order that. So the idea that the rape will be forced to go unprosecuted is erroneous and a red herring. What must be arbitrated are the Title VII sexual harassment claims and tort claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress. I’m not sure why you say it’s “absurd” to say that these could be appropriately tried by an arbitration panel. A large portion of the legal community certainly wouldn’t agree with that statement.

They still can say that. It’s just not applicable for cases involving rape. But even then, say it were: When you interview with an employer, do you consider the scenario where you get gang-raped by your coworkers and then weigh the pros and cons of a civil suit vs. an arbitration board?

I wasn’t arguing that.

It’s absurd that a woman who was gang-raped on company property, by company employees, in a place where the company is effectively beyond the reach of any criminal courts, should then seek redress through an arbitration process designed by the company’s lawyers to protect them from employees who might sue them.

There are two factors that weigh rather heavily on that. One is whether or not they are being paid, and the other is whether or not they have daughters. Or are, in fact, women themselves.

Me, I think this arbitration stuff is all very well for matters of pay disputes, or even such sexual harassment as creates a hostile work environment. And then there are situations which descend to a different level, much a like a ten ton turd descends into the punch bowl. I think an actual occurrence of rape is a bit beyond a stern report to Human Resources.

It passed, didn’t it?

Those 30 Republicans voted against it solely because the Democrats were for it and because their votes were irrelevant. If there had been a chance it wouldn’t pass, who’s to say how some of them would have voted?

Politicians don’t vote their beliefs, they vote their strategy. Giving Franklin a victory greater than 68-30 would have made him and his party too powerful. They very well might have agreed with everything he proposed, but not wanted to appear to be in his pocket. That’s just how the system works.

Can’t quite buy that one. There had to be some pretty powerful motivation, because this is one of those votes that can bite a Senator right in the ass. This might not kick up a stink with women’s issues voters, but it can hardly help. The potential to piss off a huge amount of the electorate, the half that smells good, simply has to cross their mind.

But for some reason, they take the risk. I don’t think they’d risk that just to stick their thumb in Al Franken’s eye.

I think that by election time, no-one will remember this vote (insomuch as anyone is aware of it as it is), but right now those 30 Senators may have strengthened their position in their party. Politics isn’t *all *about re-election - it’s also about how other politicians perceive you.

And seriously - how many non-bipartisan bills pass at better than 68-30?

That could be true, yes, its quite possible nobody will notice. Its also quite possible that a metric buttload of women will take it into thier pretty little heads to rip you a new one. How do you calculate that?