Friday, July 8, 2011
We've talked before several times about the sexual harassment case of Jamie Leigh Jones against KBR, the federal contractor, in the context of arbitration--KBR tried to enforce an arbitration clause in its employment contract unsuccessfully. Jones alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a coworker and that the company locked her in a container when she reported the assault.The Houston Chronicle is reporting (and so is the Wall Street Journal) that the jury came back this afternoon finding that KBR was not liable for sexual harassment. KBR had argued that the sexual contact at issue was consensual, and that therefore it was not liable for harassment. From the WSJ,
Todd Kelly, a lawyer for Ms. Jones, said: "We respect the jury's decision based upon the evidence they were allowed to see." Mr. Kelly said it was too early to say whether he would appeal the verdict.
The case was particularly high profile as Ms. Jones's testimony before Congress over the alleged incident led to a change in federal law in 2009 that bars companies that require arbitration to resolve a range of complaints, including sexual assault and harassment complaints by their employees, from receiving government contracts.