Female ex-employees sue KBR, Hallburton: report

HOUSTON Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:49pm EDT

HOUSTON (Reuters) - KBR Inc. and its former corporate parent Halliburton Co. have been sued by four women claiming they suffered sexual harassment and, in two cases rape, by co-workers while working for KBR in Iraq, the Houston Chronicle reported on its website Friday.

The women have filed separate lawsuits in federal courts in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma saying they faced repeated sexual harassment despite complaining about it to their supervisors, the Chronicle reported.

Halliburton spokeswoman Cathy Mann said in a statement that the company was improperly named in the lawsuit and expects to be dismissed from the action.

"To confirm, Halliburton Company has never been contracted for services by the U.S. government, particularly none of the logistics support services frequently discussed in the media today," Mann said. "Also, to confirm, Halliburton and its subsidiaries have no employees or work in Iraq."

KBR, the U.S. military's largest contractor in Iraq spun off from Halliburton in April. Congressional Democrats and the U.S. Justice Department have been investigating the quality and pricing of KBR's work in Iraq.

In one of the lawsuits, a 20-year-old from Conroe, Texas - a town about 40 miles north of Houston, said she needed surgery after being drugged and raped by a co-worker and other men in a co-ed dormitory in Baghdad in 2005.

A KBR spokeswoman declined to discuss the lawsuits, but said in a statement employees receive training about sexual harassment, which is a violation of federal law, prior to being sent to Iraq. She added they receive additional training annually.

KBR employees are banned from possessing or consuming alcohol in Iraq, said Heather Browne. None of the company's living quarters are co-ed.

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