RTD Revamps Hiring Policy After Settling Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
RTD buses at the busy Decatur-Federal stop on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020.

The Regional Transportation District announced Monday that it will no longer automatically reject job applicants with a certain number of points on their driver's license.

That announcement comes after RTD settled a lawsuit in which an African-American Denver-area woman, Shanita Taylor, said her applications to be a bus driver for RTD and its contractor First Transit were denied only because her driver's license had more than 10 points on it in the preceding seven years.

“Ms. Taylor believes that were she white, she would not have received many of the points on her driving record,” Taylor’s lawyers wrote in a complaint filed in Dec. 2019.

None of Taylor's points were for moving violations, her lawyers wrote. They did not respond to a request for comment.

Numerous studies, including a New York Times analysis of tens of thousands of traffic stops, have found that black drivers are more likely to be pulled over than white motorists.

The settlement, which the parties signed in October, stipulated that RTD pay Taylor $12,500 and also change its hiring practices.

In a brief post on its website, RTD said it will now conduct an "individualized review of applicants' driving records to determine suitability for employment."

"RTD remains committed to safety, and the new hiring practice will emphasize that commitment through a thorough review of each applicant’s driving record," the agency wrote.