H.R. 3326, the "Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010," has been signed into law, which means that Senator Al Franken's proposed amendment, which would "withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR 'if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court'," has also passed.
Franken's amendment was proposed in response to the experience of Jamie Leigh Jones, the Halliburton/KBR employee who reported being gang-raped by her co-workers, only to then be held hostage by her employer, and subsequently denied anything even resembling justice ever since because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations could only be addressed by private arbitration. (That absurd—and implicitly rape-minimizing—contractual agreement was recently rendered irrelevant to her case, helping clear what will still likely be a very long path to justice.)
When Franken first introduced the amendment, Jones said: "It means the world to me. It means that every tear shed to go public and repeat my story over and over again to make a difference for other women was worth it."
You know, a lot of conservative commentators constantly mock Franken because he used to be a comedic writer and actor, but they really need to stop doing that—not just because it's a shitty thing to do, but because the more they talk about what an alleged buffoon he is, the more they invite the comparison that they are less effective and less impressive lawmakers than the man they call a clown.