May 23, 2018

NAFCU files 10th amicus in ADA suit as pressure for DOJ guidance increases

gavelNAFCU on Tuesday filed its 10th amicus brief in support of credit unions facing litigation over unclear website accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). NAFCU's latest filing is in support of Smart Financial Credit Union's (Houston, Texas) motion to dismiss.

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. So far, five of the lawsuits in which NAFCU has filed an amicus brief have been dismissed.

The association also continues to engage with various stakeholders on the issue, including Congress, states' attorneys general and the Justice Department (DOJ) to clarify regulatory standards for websites. Language was recently added to a House Appropriation's measure that would require the DOJ to clarify website accessibility standards under the ADA, and Reps. Ted Budd, R-N.C., and Lou Correa, D-Calif., are currently circulating a letter among House members to urge the DOJ to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

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.

NAFCU has available an updated version of its widely downloaded ADA FAQ document; additional resources for dealing with the ADA issue can be found here.