NJ TRANSIT created the Employee Court Advocate position to support operational employees, such as bus operators and rail conductors who are victims of on-the-job assaults. The position was created in support of the New Jersey state legislature’s added protections for frontline transportation workers to the state criminal assault statute.
The agency selected attorney Michael Rubin, with 15 years of experience with the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, as its first Employee Court Advocate. Rubin will help employees who are victims of assault navigate the criminal justice system at no cost to the employee, and work with prosecutors to see that assailants face the full sentences allowable by law.
“The ATU has worked in partnership with NJ TRANSIT to see that every step is taken not only to protect our transit workers, but to offer full support should an assault happens,” said NJ TRANSIT Board Member and Chairman of the New Jersey State Council of the Amalgamated Transit Union Ray Greaves. “Now, with the addition of Mike Rubin as NJ TRANSIT Court Advocate we can be certain that no transit worker will be made to feel alone.”
In June, a man who assaulted a pregnant bus operator in January was given an eight-year prison sentence for his actions. The New Jersey legislature amended the state’s criminal assault statute to impose larger monetary penalties and increased custodial sentences for those convicted of assaulting NJ TRANSIT’s operational employees.
Rubin’s role includes meeting with employees who have been assaulted to review their cases and helping them understand their legal rights. When an employee is required to appear in court, Rubin will accompany them to court to ensure that their rights are protected and prosecutors pursue appropriate charges and sentencing.