CCUL Headlines: Political

ADA Advocacy: NC and SC add co-sponsors to ADA lawsuit fix bill

Thursday, December 21, 2017   (0 Comments)
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As the recent national trend of predatory lawsuits reached the Carolinas, more congressional members from the Carolinas are responding to requests from the League to support a bill that would protect credit unions.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC11)

Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC7)

League lobbyists Evelyn Hawthorne and Billy Boylston have been in contact with North and South Carolina’s members of Congress to raise awareness of this predatory litigation and to request their sponsorship of HR 620. In response, several additional members of the Carolinas delegation have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. This week, Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-NC11) and Tom Rice (R-SC7) added their names to the bill. Other co-sponsors include Reps. Budd, Holding, Pittenger and Walker from North Carolina and Reps. Duncan and Norman from South Carolina.

Members of Congress have been aware of this effort for some months, as threats started in other states. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX2) filed HR 620, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act of 2017, which would set parameters and clear expectations prior to filing of a lawsuit, giving business operators ample time to remedy barriers cited in demand letters.

Credit unions across the country received letters threatening legal action due to alleged failure to provide proper online access for disabled persons. In November, a handful of credit unions in North Carolina and more than ten in South Carolina received letters that, to this point, have been from the same California-based attorney. Those numbers continue to grow, as more credit unions in the Carolinas receive demand letters. The letters claim that disabled persons have tried to access the credit unions' websites, which do not provide necessary screen reader software. Targeted credit unions are often smaller in size and particularly vulnerable to such threats. The League’s Compliance team has been aware of these efforts, and in addition to training offered throughout the year, has provided a collection of ADA compliance resources on the League’s website.  

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