The first small chink appears in Halliburton’s armor

Houston Chronicle reporting today that a federal judge has ruled that Jamie Leigh Jones, the former employee of Halliburton subsidiary KBR who alleges she was raped by co-workers while in Iraq, can take her claims to trial. Halliburton, you’ll recall, is seeking to have Jones’s claims heard in arbitration rather than in court.

Apparently the ruling by U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison is that Jones does not have to take the assault/rape claims through arbitration, but that she must first resolve other workplace-related claims through that process before going forward in court on the more serious charges.

Bravo. Sounds like a thoughtful ruling: Employment contract + workplace disputes = arbitration. Employment contract + assault, rape and imprisonment by co-workers = jury trial.

How much you wanna bet Halliburton appeals this ruling?