Senator Franken introduced this amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act in 2009 because he believes victims of sexual assault and discrimination deserve their day in court, and no corporation should be able to deny them that right.
Sadly, more and more companies use mandatory arbitration to sweep cases of sexual assault and harassment under the rug. They prefer it precisely because it's all done behind closed doors. In arbitration, there are no rules, no procedure, no precedent, and no transparency. The arbitrator, usually hired by the employer, decides the law instead of a court.
Jamie Leigh Jones is a courageous woman who stood up to KBR and Halliburton when they tried to force her into arbitration after she was allegedly gang-raped by fellow employees in 2005.
The Jamie Leigh Jones Amendment passed the Senate with bipartisan support on a vote of 68-30. Since its passage, the amendment has become law, and the Department of Defense has issued preliminary guidelines for how this new law will be implemented.