July 06, 2018

NAFCU files 2nd ADA amicus in appeals court, 14th overall

gavelNAFCU yesterday filed its 14th amicus brief in support of credit unions targeted by Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website accessibility litigation. This amicus, in support of Northwest Federal Credit Union, is the association's second in a federal court of appeals and its third in support of Northwest.

The original complaint against Northwest was dismissed in January and an amended complaint in the lawsuit was dismissed in April.

"NAFCU is encouraged by previous court decisions that determined the plaintiff in this case against Northwest has no standing to sue the credit union, and we are optimistic that the same will be found at the appellate level," said NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt. "These meritless lawsuits are weighing on the industry and we will continue to defend credit unions until clear guidance is obtained, either through court precedent or regulatory clarification."

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, six of the complaints in which NAFCU has supported the credit union have been dismissed.

The association also continues to engage with various stakeholders on the issue, including Congressstates' attorneys general and the Justice Department (DOJ) to clarify regulatory standards for websites. NAFCU is monitoring congressional efforts to obtain guidance from the DOJ.

To date, credit unions in at least 26 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.