How technology has changed ADA lawsuits

Michael Landen (1)Each week, large companies across the country often find themselves facing lawsuits for alleged violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), particularly when it comes to wheelchair ramps and accessible parking. However, companies need to be aware that they could soon become the target for a new type lawsuit under the ADA…claims that their website is not compliant with the law by being inaccessible to the visually impaired.

ADA litigation related to website accessibility has surged in recent years. In the first six months of last year alone 1,053 such lawsuits were filed nationwide and increase from 814 cases in all of 2017.

The ADA protects the rights of the physically impaired to receive services at the same level and quality as everyone else. Given that many online services can be treated as “public accommodations,” entities that provide extra services on their website are the largest targets for these claims. Businesses in the retail and hospitality industries are particularly vulnerable for becoming a target for this type of lawsuit. As such, businesses should make sure that their websites conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 standards and minimalize impaired people’s limitations to having full access to the site.

It is important for all businesses to consider how to reduce their potential liability. While complying with the WCAG 2.1 is not a complete shield against ADA lawsuits, it should be every business’s first step in reducing its liability exposure.

As we begin the new year, Florida’s Eleventh Circuit is expected to rule on a decision that may open the floodgates for lawsuits over website accessibility. Last October, the federal appeals court heard arguments in Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. appeal of a June 2017. The decision concluded that blind plaintiff Juan Carlos Gil has alleged the incompatibility of Winn-Dixie’s website with standard screen reader software, thus denying him the full and equal access of what the company offers to sighted customers.

Businesses need to be constantly aware that ADA-related litigation is continually expanding into digital territory as technology becomes more necessary in our day-to-day lives. Being proactive and taking steps to limit exposure could prevent you from becoming the latest target for this kind of lawsuit.

Daily Business Review: Real Estate Agent Loses Job After Video Shows Her Mocking Gillum Supporters in Election Protest

Kluger Kaplan’s Michael Landen provides employment law insights in today’s Daily Business Review. 

Michael Landen_226 greyA United Realty Group Inc. real estate agent demonstrating with protesters calling for the firing of the Broward election supervisor is out of a job following a high-profile Twitter video.

Liliana Albarino-Olinick was fired Saturday as an independent contractor with Plantation-based United Realty after videos surfaced of her mocking and berating supporters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

Employment law attorneys said United Realty acted within its rights as an employer dealing with fallout from tight Florida elections that triggered automatic recounts in three statewide races, including Gillum’s run for governor…

Michael Landen, a partner at Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine in Miami, said there’s no reason United Realty couldn’t sever its relationship with the Olinicks since they were independent contractors.

Private employers dealing with contractors have the right to say, “You know what, we are not going to do business with that company. We don’t like what they stand for.”

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Fantasy leagues, office pools: legalities employers need to consider

Miami Herald title

The popularity of fantasy sports have not only greatly impacted fans’ involvement in their favorite leagues, but can impact their performance in the workplace.

9th Circ. Ruling May Stall Uber Driver Classification Suits

Law360By Linda Chiem

Law360, New York (September 9, 2016, 6:02 PM ET) — The Ninth Circuit’s ruling that ex-Uber drivers suing the company over background checks must fight it out in individual arbitration, not the courts, deals a body blow to a host of high-profile wage-and-hour class actions where drivers are accusing the ride-hailing giant of misclassifying them as independent contractors, experts say.

The three-judge panel’s much-anticipated Sept. 7 decision largely affirming the validity of Uber Technologies Inc.’s arbitration provisions applies to just two proposed class actions from ex-drivers who claimed that Uber performed background checks without their authorization…. Michael 3“Uber not having to deal with these cases on a class basis is beneficial to them, but it’s likely to potentially dissuade some of these plaintiffs from moving forward and certain attorneys from taking these cases,” said Michael Landen, a partner at Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen & Levine PL who specializes in labor and employment litigation. “Uber is this giant and now you have lawyers that will have to decide if they want to dip their toe in the water when there’s not nearly as much upside.”

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Uber Primed For Hard Fight After $100M Labor Deal Rejected

U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen’s refusal to preliminarily sign off on the $100 million deal — $84 million of which was a lock for drivers while the rest was contingent on the ride-hailing giant launching…