ADA Website Litigation

NAFCU is committed to protecting credit unions by fighting the recent flood of ADA website litigation targeting the industry. We recognize the importance of the ADA and fully support the ability for all Americans to be free from discrimination. However, costly lawsuits against well-intentioned credit unions that exploit an area of unsettled law will take real dollars out of the hands of credit union member-owners. 

Lack of Regulatory Guidance

Currently, there is a regulatory void with respect to standards for website accessibility for entities like credit unions. The ADA and the Department of Justice's (DOJ) regulations are silent on website accessibility standards. For numerous years, the DOJ has gathered information on standards for website accessibility, but in December 2017 withdrew this initiative from its rulemaking agenda and even rescinded two related advanced notices of proposed rulemaking.

Download answers to frequently asked questions regarding ADA website litigation for more detailed information. 

NAFCU's Recent Activity on ADA Litigation

NAFCU is at the forefront of this issue and will continue to be proactive from all angles given the rapid increase in litigation risk.

  • December 2017 - NAFCU submitted briefs as amicus curiae to support three Virginia credit unions' motions to dismiss complaints filed against them in federal district court.

    In all three cases, the plaintiff is a person who is not a member or not even clearly within the credit union's field of membership. So far, the judges in two of the three cases have accepted NAFCU's briefs, and on January 5, 2018 NAFCU stood with one credit union during its hearing. The judge heard arguments on issues including to what extent the ADA may apply to websites, the fact that the plaintiff is not a member or eligible to join the sued credit union, and whether the plaintiff has standing, or the ability to sue in the first place.

    This hearing was the first out of several Virginia cases involving credit unions, and the outcome of this case has the potential to impact other pending cases especially as it is one of the first involving a credit union.

Resources for Credit Unions

Our Position

NAFCU remains committed to ensuring that disabled individuals have fair and equal access to financial services, but credit unions should not be the victims of ambiguities in federal law. We will continue to fight for credit unions and to stand with our members in the face of these meritless legal actions threatening the industry. NAFCU is fully engaged with Congress on this issue and urges DOJ to issue clear guidance on ADA website accessibility standards to help stem the rise of costly lawsuits. However, we will continue to fight against attempts by plaintiffs firms to exploit unsettled law.