DART Approves Domestic Partner Health Benefits

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit will offer domestic partner health insurance coverage for employees.

The DART Board of Directors approved the policy Tuesday in a 10-3 vote.

The policy allows an unmarried DART employee to cover one unrelated adult. The person would have to prove that he or she lives with the DART employee, has resided with the employee for at least a year and is not eligible for health benefits through another employer or the government.

Last month, two board members walked out of a meeting when a vote on the measure was about to take place, leaving the board without the required quorum to take action.

One of those members was absent again Tuesday night after a death in the family. The other member told people he opposed the change for financial reasons.

Supporters from the gay and lesbian community say the coverage is offered by other major employers to keep and attract good workers.

"This is an issue of fairness and competition," said Rafael McDonnell, Resource Center Dallas spokesman. "It sends a signal to future DART employees that this is a place that values you regardless of who you are and who you love."

DART officials estimate that fewer than 20 employees may take advantage of domestic partner health insurance, costing the agency about $70,000 a year.

Contact Us