Jamie Lee Jones was a 20 year old Halliburton employee sent to work in Iraq. After only four days on assignment, she was raped and beaten by a group of co-workers. When Ms. Jones returned home, she tried to press criminal charges against the people who attacked her. Her breasts were so badly mauled that it caused permanent disfigurement. However, she was told that because of the nature of the work and where she was stationed, criminal charges could not be filed. The U.S. Department of Justice refused to investigate further. As a result, she sought to use the legal system to seek justice and hold KBR/Halliburton accountable, filing a case against them for their misconduct. However, buried in her employment contract was an arbitration clause that was required by KBR/Halliburton. This forced arbitration clause meant that Jamie Lee Jones could not have a jury of her peers decide whether KBR/Halliburton had broken the law. Instead, she was required to go to an arbitration, set up using KBR’s selected rules, for a secret, one-sided tribunal.
Mandatory arbitration in any setting is wrong and should be outlawed. Large companies place similar clauses in all sorts of consumer agreements, including credit cards and cell phones. A bill known as the Arbitration Fairness Act is currently pending in Congress that would change this harsh reality and restore fairness to innocent victims. As representatives of people like Jamie Lee Jones, Gilreath & Associates searches for ways to give voice to the voiceless every day. Jamie Lee is someone who should be applauded for her courage to stand up for what is right, and any bill making such a tragedy impossible should be the law of the land.
Tennessee personal injury law firm, Gilreath & Associates discusses the criminal charges pressed by a 20 year old Halliburton employee sent to work in Iraq.