August 29, 2019

ADA case cites NAFCU-supported CU wins

gavelThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit yesterday upheld the dismissal of another lawsuit against two credit unions related to unclear website accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Cited in its decision were arguments from two NAFCU-supported appeals court decisions that upheld the dismissal of lawsuits against Department of Labor Federal Credit Union (DOLFCU) and Northwest FCU.

Credit unions across the country started being targeted by meritless lawsuits under the ADA due to unclear website accessibility requirements in Fall 2017. NAFCU filed 16 amicus briefs in seven different states to support credit unions targeted by ADA website accessibility litigation. So far, 10 of the complaints in which NAFCU has supported the credit union have been dismissed.

As in the DOLFCU and Northwest FCU decisions, the Sixth Circuit determined that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue Aeroquip Credit Union and Belle River Community Credit Union due to not falling within the credit unions' field of membership.

While NAFCU and its members strongly support the protections set forth under the ADA, it believes that these efforts are best achieved through clear guidance and standards for website compliance, not through meritless and costly lawsuits.

The association has engaged with the Department Of Justice (DOJ) and Congress to provide guidance. During a NAFCU-secured listening session with the DOJ in March, credit unions provided direct feedback on the issue and reiterated the need for guidance.

NAFCU will continue to work with the DOJ and Congress to obtain clarity for credit unions.