Dec 152007

I’m sure you’ll all be relieved to know that the military contractor KBR does not tolerate sexual harassment.  Just ask them.  Here in all its glory is the memo they sent  to their employees disputing the facts in the lawsuit brought by former employee Jamie Lee Jones alleging that the military contractor locked her in a room for more than 24 hours after she was gang-raped and tried to cover up the facts of the case–an act that should certainly be called something a lot worse than sexual harassment (see here and here for more on the case).

TO: All KBR Employees
FROM: Bill Utt, Chairman, President and CEO
SUBJECT: Recent media coverage
There continues to be extensive media coverage regarding litigation involving a former KBR subsidiary employee, Ms. Jamie Jones. As transparency is a KBR core value, I want share with you our perspective of the situation.

First and foremost, KBR in no way condones or tolerates any form of sexual harassment. The safety and security of all employees remains KBR’s top priority. That commitment is unwavering. Further, each employee is expected to adhere to KBR’s Code of Business Conduct guidelines and when violations occur, immediate and appropriate disciplinary action is taken. Any and all allegations related to inappropriate sexual behavior are taken seriously and are investigated immediately. In response to Ms. Jones’ allegations, an investigative process was initiated in Ms. Jones’ case and was subsequently taken over by government authorities, in accordance with their procedures.

While the allegations raised by Ms. Jones are serious, after a review of the case KBR noted inaccuracies in the accounts of the incident in question, and disputes portions of Ms. Jones’ version of the facts. We have expressed our position in detail to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and some of this information is now public.

We will continue to defend the Company in the legal process and remain committed to ensuring the arbitration process is fair.

Thank you for your continued support of KBR.

According to the Houston Chronicle however,

“(T)he EEOC’s Houston office found KBR’s investigation into Jones’ allegations were “inadequate and did not effect an adequate remedy.”

It should also be noted that Jones is certainly not the only woman to allege that she has been sexually assaulted or harrassed by KBR employees.  Linda Lindsey recently told Texas television station KHOU,

“If you wanted to get a promotion you didn’t necessarily have to have the qualifications,? remembered Lindsey, a former KBR contractor. “You just needed to be sleeping with the person who was doing the hiring.?

Lindsey made this statement in a sworn affidavit in the Jones case,

“When anyone would report an incident of abuse or harassment, they would be threatened with a transfer to a more dangerous location.”

And as we noted in July, KBR has also been sued by 4 other women alleging sexual harassment and rape while in the employ of KBR.

Both Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) have asked the Justice Department to investigate whether it has jurisdiction and Move On has started a petition to hold U.S. contractors in Iraq accountable under U.S. law.

 December 15, 2007  Posted by on December 15, 2007

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