NAFCU files 13th ADA-related amicus brief, first appellate defending DOLFCU
WASHINGTON, DC (June 20, 2018) — The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) today filed its 13th amicus brief in support of credit unions facing litigation over unclear website accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This amicus, in support the Department of Labor Federal Credit Union, is NAFCU’s first in a federal court of appeals; DOLFCU’s case was initially dismissed in February.
The association stood by DOLFCU during its first hearing earlier this year.
“We have seen six complaints dismissed against NAFCU-supported credit unions at the federal district court level, but this will be the first at the federal appellate level,” said NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt. “A decision at this level could set a heavier precedent than those we’ve already seen for similar lawsuits. NAFCU will continue to staunchly defend credit unions throughout the judicial process to ensure these meritless lawsuits come to an end soon.”
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 lawsuits in which NAFCU has filed an amicus brief have been dismissed; the courts have determined that the plaintiffs to such lawsuits do not have standing to sue the credit unions because they were not eligible for membership and would likely not use the credit unions’ services. In addition, one court ruled that a website is not a place of public accommodation, thus certain ADA protections were not triggered.
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 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.
New credit union resources
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.
The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions is the only national trade association focusing exclusively on federal issues affecting the nation’s federally-insured credit unions. NAFCU membership is direct and provides credit unions with the best in federal advocacy, education and compliance assistance. For more information on NAFCU, go to www.nafcu.org or @NAFCU on Twitter.