Halliburton and KBR back off on Jamie Leigh Jones case that inspired Al Franken's anti-rape law

Halliburton and KBR have confirmed they have withdrawn an appeal to the Supreme Court that sought to force a former employee, Jamie Leigh Jones, into arbitration over her allegations that she was raped other company employees while on assignment in Baghdad.

Her story inspired Sen. Al Franken to author an amendment to a Pentagon funding bill last year that banned the government from doing business with military contractors who require such arbitration in rape cases, and prevent victims from suing their employers. The amendment became law in December.

Jones says she was gang-raped in 2005 by other KBR employees and then locked in a shipping container when she tried to report the attack. Her case names both KBR and Halliburton because the companies split in 2007. A lower court judge allowed her case to go to court. It is scheduled to begin in May 2011.

Conservatives called Franken's amendment a craven sop to trial lawyers and another case of the federal government meddling in matters of private enterprise.

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