One hundred and three members of Congress signed a CUNA-supported letter submitted Wednesday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for the Department of Justice to issue website standards for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Credit unions around the country are facing legal threats due to uncertainty with how the ADA applies to websites, and CUNA has made finding a solution a top advocacy priority.
"It is important for Congress to act to provide greater clarity through the legislative process," the letter reads. "However, in the meantime, it is also unfair and disruptive to subject businesses to litigation risk caused by insufficiently specific statutory language or even basic direction on compliance from the department. We respectfully urge you to help resolve this situation as soon as possible."
The members of Congress, led by Reps. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.), note that lawsuits have increased by 14 times in the last two years due to the lack of clarity, saying that the gray area in the law is allowing bad actors to exploit a law designed to protect the disabled.
In addition to working with Congress to get the letter sent, CUNA worked to get language added to a House appropriations bill that would call for the DOJ to clarify website accessibility standards under the ADA.
CUNA has met with Department of Justice officials several times to discuss the need for a solution, and has compliance resources available for credit unions.
CUNA has also worked with state leagues to file briefs supporting credit unions facing frivolous ADA lawsuits, most recently in Texas and Ohio.