Credit unions across the country are being threatened with litigation from a handful of plaintiffs’ law firms seeking to profit from the ambiguities in requirements for website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Many of these threats come from the Pacific Trial Attorneys, based in Newport Beach, CA. In recent weeks, credit unions have also received demand letters from “copycat” law firms.
In a member-only webinar, CUNA and CUNA Mutual staff will provide updates about the latest state of these litigation threats and about compliance resources, advocacy efforts to fight this predatory litigation, and other resources that credit unions should be aware of.
Ryan Donovan, CUNA, Chief Advocacy Officer
Jared Ihrig, CUNA, Chief Compliance Officer
Carlos Molina, CUNA Mutual Risk Management Consultant, Business Protection Risk Management
Leah Dempsey, CUNA, Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel
Notably, recently the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it has rescinded two Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (ANPRM) related to website accessibility under Title II of the ADA applicable to state and local governments and under Title III applicable to private businesses open to the public.
CUNA published a blog with initial thoughts on this action. However, DOJ’s actions to withdraw its ANPR in many instances does not shed further clarity on the judicial precedent that has been created for what are expected requirements for website accessibility, or what plaintiffs’ firms have relied on as de facto requirements. As such, credit unions should continue to review CUNA’s compliance resources for website accessibility until further clarity is provided.
Furthermore, CUNA will conduct a breakout session at the Governmental Affairs Conference to help credit unions understand possible steps they can take to avoid these lawsuits, and I encourage all impacted credit unions to attend it. The breakout session will be on Monday, February 26, 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm.
If you have question on this matter, don’t hesitate to contact Leah Dempsey at 202-508-3636.
For your reference, here are links to several CUNA blog posts with updates about our advocacy efforts and compliance resources:
- Efforts Continue (Dec. 21, 201)
- Senate Hearing (Nov. 9, 2017)
- Letter to DOJ (Nov. 10, 2017)
- Letter to Congress (Oct. 17, 2017)
- WCAG 2.0 – A, AA or AAA (11/3/17)
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (10/16/17)
- ADA Accessibility: Common Problems & Solutions (2/8/17)