Franken measure gives defense contractor workers right to sue

U.S. Sen. Al Franken successfully pushed to amend the Defense Appropriations bill today with a measure that would ensure employees of defense contractors can sue their employers over sexual assaults.

Franken, DFL-Minn., said the story of a 19-year-old employee of defense firm KBR, who was allegedly gang-raped by coworkers in Iraq, inspired his amendment.

After returning to the United States, the young woman was told she could not sue her employer because her contract prohibited litigation, and allowed only arbitration.

Arguing for inclusion of his amendment, Franken told fellow senators that victims of sexual assault and discrimination at least deserve their day in court, and that his amendment would give victims that basic right.

Minnesota's other U.S. Senator, DFLer Amy Klobuchar, also voted in favor of the amendment.

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