February 08, 2018

Berger updates credit unions on ADA litigation next steps

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, in a message to credit unions yesterday, provided an update on NAFCU's efforts thus far to put an end to meritless lawsuits filed under website accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), obtain clear guidance on the issue and help those credit unions currently facing litigation.

"NAFCU is standing strong with credit unions as we fight the influx of meritless ADA website litigation," wrote Berger. "Although we strongly support the protections of the ADA and equal access to financial services, we believe this is best achieved through clear guidance for website compliance, not through meritless and costly lawsuits."

Berger outlined NAFCU's current efforts in fighting ADA lawsuits, including sending a cease-and-desist letterto the law firm responsible for sending demand letters to credit unions over unclear website accessibility requirements. Berger also addressed NAFCU's current support of four credit unions' motions to dismiss complaints filed against them in federal district court by submitting amicus briefs. So far, all four briefs have been accepted, with one of those cases being dismissed.

He also highlighted NAFCU's letter to the U.S. Attorney Generalasking that the Justice Department consider issuing guidanceor an interim final rule that would provide clarity in the area of website accessibility under the ADA. Last month, NAFCUwrote to the National Association of Attorneys Generalto look into the issue. Also last month, the Justice Department rescinded past rulemaking documents on this issue, noting it intended to further evaluate whether a rule is necessary.

In addition to NAFCU's current efforts, Berger met with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., on Tuesday to discuss further the rise in ADA litigation, the consequences these meritless lawsuits are having on credit unions around the country and possible solutions.

NAFCU will continue to keep its members apprised of any new developments regarding litigation risk due to website accessibility under the ADA. A complete rundown of NAFCU's resources related to ADA website litigation is available through thislanding page.