Legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Singer to prohibit NJ Transit from settling a discrimination or equal opportunity case, unless the settlement agreement has been approved by the NJ Transit Board of Directors, has passed the Senate Transportation Committee.
Sen. Bob Singer’s bill would prohibit NJ Transit from settling discrimination cases, unless the settlement is approved by the NJT Board of Directors. Between 2012 and 2017, NJT paid more than $12 million in settlement agreements. All but one were related to discrimination cases. (SenateNJ.com)
Between 2012 and 2017, NJ Transit paid more than $12 million in settlement agreements, according to records provided to the Legislature. All but one were related to discrimination cases.
“This bill is about protecting innocent people from unfair settlements and increasing transparency at a state agency – two issues that are of grave importance when it comes to protecting the public trust,” Senator Singer (R-30) said. “NJ Transit is on thin ice. We need to do everything we can to hold them accountable for how they treat employees and ratepayers, and how they spend taxpayer dollars. Bringing these settlements out of the shadows is a step in the right direction.”
Under current law, NJ Transit only has to report a settlement to its board of directors if the settlement agreement totals more than $500,000. Senator Singer’s bill, S-1798, would require all settlement agreements concerning equal opportunity or discrimination to be reported to the NJ Transit Board of Directors.
S-1798 would also require NJ Transit to prepare an annual report containing: all discrimination-related settlement agreements approved in the year prior, how the number of cases that year compared to the previous year and the five years before; and the departments or units that were subject to complaints or allegations in the discrimination-related settlement agreements listed in the report.
To further improve transparency at the agency, the annual report required under S-1798 would be published on NJ Transit’s website and submitted to the Governor and the Legislature.
Senator Singer’s S-1798 now awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. If passed in both houses and signed into law, the legislation would take effect immediately. A copy of his bill can be found here.
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