April 27, 2018

NAFCU, Federation file joint ADA brief defending $1M-asset CU

lawsuitNAFCU on Wednesday filed an amicus brief in support of an Alabama-based $1.4 million-asset community development credit union facing litigation over unclear website accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). NAFCU was joined in the filing by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation).
NRS Community Development Federal Credit Union is a credit union committed to financial inclusion and providing services to low- and moderate-income populations with limited access to affordable financial services.
"NAFCU will not stand by while a credit union is targeted by a meritless lawsuit over unclear rules," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "NAFCU will continue to actively defend credit unions in this fight – large or small – as we have done from the beginning."

"Community development credit unions, like NRS Community Development FCU, specialize in serving populations with limited access to affordable financial services, which includes a high percentage of individuals with disabilities," said Federation President/CEO Cathie Mahon. "No good purpose is served by preventing credit unions from serving those who need their services most."
NAFCU has been active on this issue since last fall and began filing amicus briefs to support credit unions targeted by ADA website accessibility litigation in December. Including this filing, NAFCU has filed eight amicus briefs to support credit unions; of those, five have resulted in dismissals.
To date, credit unions in at least 25 states have been targeted with demand letters on this issue. NAFCU and its members strongly support the protections of the ADA and efforts to ensure individuals with disabilities are not discriminated against and have equal access to financial services. However, this is best achieved through clear guidance and standards for website compliance, not through meritless and costly lawsuits.
The association has also attended multiple hearings to support credit unions defending lawsuits and continues to engage with various stakeholders on the issue, including Congress, states' attorneys general and the Justice Department to clarify regulatory standards for websites.
NAFCU also has available its widely downloaded ADA FAQ document; additional resources for dealing with the ADA issue can be found here.
NAFCU will remain diligent and engaged with all stakeholders as ADA concerns persist.