Perhaps the opposition objected to the exclusion of “sexual harassment” cases from binding arbitration. Let’s look at the list again – all these types of cases are excluded from the binding arbitration rules: sexual assault or harassment including
[li]assault and battery[/li][li]intentional infliction of emotional distress[/li][li]false imprisonment[/li][li]negligent hiring, supervision, or retention[/li][/ul]
Now, the OP focuses on the rape, which would almost certainly include things like false imprisonment and assault and battery.
But what is the rationale for saying a company cannot require binding arbitration for a sexual harassment claim that involves, say a negligent hiring and supervision claim? As I read this, if a woman offers a sexual harassment claim based on her failure to be promoted because the line manager favors a buddy-buddy system of men in charge, and the company is accused of failing to supervise and train the line manager properly… that case would be covered under these rules.
Now, of course you may say, “Good! Forced binding arbitration is an abomination anyway, so I’m fine with that result!” But that’s hardly the initial argument here, and I think many reasonable people could disagree that in the case of this hypothetical promotion dispute, binding arbitration is not such an evil thing.
Individual employees are at a severe disadvantage. Employment agreements are offered on a take-it-or-take-yourself-elsewhere basis. Unless unemployment numbers drop below 2% or so, employees really have little choice but to accept whatever is offered. Market forces won’t punish the bad apples, but will actually reward them.
Firms that do arbitration are typically kept on contract by the employer, which is a conflict of interest, and indeed some such firms have been found to market themselves based on a high percentage of favorable outcomes for the employer.
Big business likes this arraignment very much. The amendment is seen as a foot in the door toward the elimination of such clauses in the broader business environment.
The republicans that voted against it were taking a pro business stance.
The criminal prosecution of defense company rapists is unchanged by Franken’s amendment. His bill only affects the civil aspect of suing the employer.
Part of the problem with the criminal prosecution is that the crime is alleged to have occurred in Iraq. Combine KBR’s complete control of the scene, the immunities granted to non-military personnel in Iraq, the lack of jurisdiction, any criminal prosecution of the alleged rapists is out of the question.
To answer dropzone, the police could prosecute the KBR guys who shot you. You could not sue KBR because:
[li]you signed an arbitration agreement; and,[/li][li]you’re dead.[/li][/ol]
The reason proposed by Magiver could be conceivable. If the Republicans wanted to vote down the bill, they would prefer there be no “no killing puppies” amendments. When the amendment is up for a vote, they would vote it down. Of course this involves voting down a no killing puppies amendment to avoid voting down a bill with a no killing puppies amendment, and I’m not sure how that’s an improvement.
Yep, Franken came up with a brand new tactic. Except the Gramm Bill for Modernization of Banking was slipped into an appropriations bill at the last minute of the Clinton admin. It is done all the time. It is business as usual, so don’t whine about that. Deal with the damn bill. The Repubs are agiain showing who they work for and it is not the American people.
I appreciate Senator Franken’s amendment, and look forward to more from him. I think it is worth clarifying that the bill still only applies to companies seeking federal contracts. It seems like some of the debate here is taking the proposal as if it was larger than that.
Someone offered the argument: “if the employees don’t like it, then work someplace else.” Well I, as a citizen represented by the govt offering the contract, would like my govt to hold a higher standard than that. Companies that want *my *money have to treat people with more respect than “forfeit your rights or go find another place to work”. As an ‘owner’ of the federal govt offering the juicy contracts, I expect a model more like: “Companies, increase your standards for treatment of your employees or go find another place to beg for juicy contracts.”
And I agree with Alessan’s perspective that the votes can’t be taken to really mean a stance one way or the other. Politicians are pathetic.