The MTA is shelling out the dough as it was just discovered that the agency had to pay out $1.2 million to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit from Black & Hispanic transit cops. Reuven Blau of the New York Daily News has more in this exclusive:
The MTA quietly paid $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of black and Hispanic transit cops who accused the agency of condoning and encouraging racial discrimination.
The 10 plaintiffs — current and former officers, detectives and sergeants — argued that they were regularly subjected to racial slurs, skipped over for promotions, and blocked from getting prized overtime assignments.
The suit said 96% of the agency’s captains and other supervisors are white.
MTA officials spent eight years fighting the case in federal court. The plaintiffs had originally sought $8 million in damages.
The settlement — the largest tied to a case against the MTA in at least five years — was issued on Aug. 24, according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request.
The 48-page suit listed a host of racial discrimination allegations.
“The MTA Police Department is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule and insult whereby supervisors disparage the abilities of African-American and Hispanic officers and cause them to feel as though they are continually at risk of discipline,” the lawsuit alleges.
When officers protested about the unfair treatment, their bosses retaliated by denying them promotions and training, the suit claims. The officers who complained were given menial and demeaning jobs and denied access to overtime, according to the lawsuit.
Click here for the complete report.
Let us face reality here, while the MTA is on record about the case stating “Settling this case without admitting any wrongdoing was in the best interest of the MTA and the public that funds us”, they were in the wrong & would have had no issues dragging this case out longer if the plaintiffs wanted to do so.
When you are innocent, you do not settle especially when you have the deeper pockets to afford to pay for the proof of innocence. Plus I know from my experience knowing people who have or continue to work at the agency in various levels that looking down on minorities is nothing new.
My main goal is that this treatment will eventually stop but the reality is it probably never will unless changes in the culture are made. Until they are, we can expect the MTA to keep dishing out the cash.
xoxo Transit Blogger