Banks May Be Targets of Disability Law

ABA Banking Journal, September 1991 | Go to article overview

Banks May Be Targets of Disability Law


Although final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act were expected this summer, there will likely remain many gray areas that will likely only be clarified through future lawsuits, according to Cathie A. Shattuck, an attorney with Epstein, Becker & Green, Washington, D.C. Shattuck spoke about the act, which covers banks both as public facilities and as employers, at ABA's recent National Compliance Conference.

Shattuck is a former member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission board-which shares regulatory responsibilities under the act with the Department of Justice. Based on her past experience, Shattuck said she expected the Justice Department, responsible for enforcement of the act, would likely target banks and other institutions that were the subject of public complaints. Institutions would be made examples to ensure broad compliance.

Banks may find themselves facing compliance responsibility in unexpected ways, Shattuck warned. For example, commercial real estate lenders would have to worry about a building's compliance with the disabilities act if they foreclose and take possession of the property. …

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