Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gang Rape: Normal Job Hazard?

Apparently, that is the official position of Halliburton and all other companies who make their employees agree to arbitration in their employment contracts according to Raw Story.

""She signed an employment contract and there is a mandatory arbitration clause in that contract," CNN legal analyst told Kiran Chetry on CNN's American Morning Tuesday. "It says if there's any dispute arising out of your employment or related to your employment, that dispute doesn't go before a jury, doesn't go before trial judge, goes before an arbitrator."

By insisting that this employee contract covers the enabling or ignoring of criminal activity by other employees, this makes Halliburton and KBR executives official position one where gang rape is nothing more than an employment issue.

To see their position more clearly I'll substitute the first specific alleged crime for the generic term used by the CNN analyst:

"She signed an employment contract and there is a mandatory arbitration clause in that contract. It says that gang rape arising out of your employment or related to your employment, that gang rape doesn't go before a jury, [that gang rape] doesn't go before a trial judge, [that gang rape] goes before an arbitrator."

Does that really meet the reasonable person standard?

In what worldview does being gang raped arise out of her employment? If the answer is because she's a woman, then that is blatant sex discrimination.

How can gang rape be directly related to her employment? The only way for these to happen if for gang rape to be nothing more than a job-related injury. In that case she should be eligible for workers comp benefits. Yet I'd be shocked if Halliburton or KBR bothered to be consistent with this absurd position.

I know that rape has been normalized but making gang rape nothing more than an employment dispute takes that normalization to a new low.

By this standard then murder committed by your coworkers or your boss or your subordinates or an employee about to be fired is nothing more than an employment dispute which should be resolved in arbitration. If employees or management conspires to cover up a murder of an employee, or 2 or 3 or more, that too would be nothing more than an employment issue to be resolved in arbitration.

Is there any way that this interpretation should be legal under employment law? If it is currently legal, then it needs to change ASAP. I don't know any of these employment contracts where employees have the option to not sign them and remain company employees.

This position also means that official sanctions and fines should be given by the US government since Halliburton and HBR and any other company which use employment contracts this way since this usage is an admission by them that sexual harassment and rape are defacto company policy.

Hat tip: Feminist Peace Network

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:39 PM   0 comments links to this post

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