12 Sep 2016

Can Your Company Website Trigger 3rd Party Claims?

September 12, 2016Blog, Uncategorized

Often when you think of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, certain things might initially come to mind, such as wheelchair ramps and bathroom handrails. However, ADA compliance refers not only to the physical infrastructure of a location, but has implications on your website as well. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses and nonprofits to make all electronic and information technology accessible to individuals with disabilities. It’s essential that businesses and organizations keep in mind regulations and implement ADA compliant features on the company’s site in order to minimize 3rd party discrimination exposure.

This is a trending topic in Employment Practices Liability Insurance which has the potential to trigger coverage on unsuspecting companies.  Certain industries are the main target for plaintiffs’ attorneys at the moment.  These industries primarily consist of: Retail companies and Real Estate firms.  However, as cases continue to gain steam we can reasonably expect the industry list to widen across the board.

The good news is that there are relatively inexpensive ways to update websites in order to be ADA compliant. According to an article in Tech Republic, a company with ADA website compliance has certain features that can be checked through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Here are a few of the criteria listed on the site that web developers must implement on your website:

  1. Every image, video file, audio file, plug-in, etc. has an alt tag.
  2. Complex graphics are accompanied by detailed text descriptions.
  3. The alt descriptions describe the purpose of the objects.
  4. If an image is also used as a link, make sure the alt tag describes the graphic and the link destination.
  5. Decorative graphics with no other function have empty alt descriptions (alt= “”).
  6. Add captions to videos and audio descriptions.
  7. Create text transcript.
  8. Create a link to the video rather than embedding it into web page.
  9. A link is provided to a disability-accessible page where the plug-in can be downloaded
  10. All Java applets, scripts and plug-ins (including Acrobat PDF files and PowerPoint files, etc.) and the content within them are accessible to assistive technologies, or else an alternative means of accessing equivalent content is provided.

This relatively new exposure is something that can be avoided with risk management controls in place.  Here at Euclid Exec, we utilize the services of Jackson Lewis to provide our EPLI insureds with risk management guidance.  We understand the risks that might threaten your company and want to provide you with the best coverage. Our policies allow you to choose a combination based on your specific case. Our team of experts are willing formulate a plan made for your insurance needs. For more information on what we can provide you coverage with, call us today at 630.694.2276.