Last week the U.S. Senate boldly voted 68-30 to include Sen. Al Franken’s amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act. Ten Republicans voting in favor of it. This amendment, SA 2588 to H.R. 3326, would bar defense contractors from imposing forced arbitration clauses on their employees for Title VII violations and sexual assault tort claims. It would be a big improvement for the rights of defense contract workers, and provide meaningful pressure on the likes of Halliburton to be more respectful of the rights of their employees.
Now the Franken Amendment is heading to a House-Senate conference committee. All of the members of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittees in both the House and Senate will be the ones to decide whether this amendment stays in the bill or is stripped out. They could make this decision early next week. Please contact the Senators and Representatives from your state and urge them to make sure this important amendment stays in the bill. Here is a possible script for you to use when you make your calls:
Good morning my name is ___________ and I’m calling on behalf of ________________. I am calling to ask for Sen./Rep. _____________’s support of Amendment 2588, sponsored by Senator Al Franken and co-sponsored by Senator Mary Landrieu, to H.R. 3326, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act. This is an important amendment because it would bar defense contractors from imposing forced arbitration clauses on their employees for only Title VII violations and sexual assault claims. The amendment passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 68-30 and now must be protected in conference.
If the amendment survives conference committee, companies like Halliburton will no longer be able to get federal defense contracts if they deny employees their day in court when they are subjected to rape, sexual assault, or a hostile working environment. We need your boss’s help to ensure that the amendment isn’t taken out of the bill in conference.
Jon Stewart did a great segment on the Franken Amendment. You can watch it by following this link.