More than 100 members of the House called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice to provide guidance and clarity in how the Americans with Disability Act applies to credit union websites. In a letter circulated by Reps. Ted Budd (R-NC) and Lou Correa (D-CA).
According to NAFCU, House members told Sessions “unresolved questions about the applicability of the ADA to websites as well as the Department's abandonment of the effort to write a rule defining website accessibility standards, has created a liability hazard that directly affects businesses in our states and the customers they serve.”
Dan Berger, president and CEO of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, praised Budd and Correa – along with the rest of the bipartisan group of legislators who co-signed — promising to “continue to urge the Justice Department to address this issue as we stand by credit unions receiving demand letters."
Also today, NAFCU filed filed its 13th amicus brief so far this year supporting credit unions targeted by legal challenges alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This brief supports Department of Labor Federal Credit Union in an appeal after a suit against the credit union was originally dismissed in February. This is NAFCU’s first amicus brief to be filed in a federal court of appeals.
"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," NAFCU EVP of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt said in a statement. "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."
As Credit Union Journal has reported, CUs in more than half of all states continue to be targeted by suits alleging ADA violations, though CUs have seen some victories thus far, with a few cases being thrown out after judges ruled the plaintiff lacked the standing to sue, since he or she was unable to join the credit union. Last week a suit against a Virginia credit union was dismissed for that same reason.
Both NAFCU and the Credit Union National Association have been active on the ADA front throughout the year, filing a slew of amicus briefs and meeting with regulators and lawmakers in an effort to try to solve the issue.
More of Credit Union Journal’s coverage on ADA can be found here.