The Ninth Circuit recently decided Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, in which the Ninth Circuit ruled that imposing liability on Domino’s Pizza for its website under the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) accessibility requirements for public accommodation does not violate the website operator’s Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. The court expressly rejected Domino’s Pizza’s arguments, commonly asserted by defendants in similar ADA website accessibility cases around the country, that the lack of meaningful guidance from the Department of Justice for website accessibility requirements made the requirements impermissibly vague, and made enforcement of the ADA for websites a due process violation.
The Ninth Circuit also clarified that the ADA applies to the services of a public accommodation, however provided, rather than services in a place of public accommodation. Websites, software applications, and other means of providing the services of a public accommodation should expect to be held to the same ADA accessibility obligations. The standard is flexible, but requires that disabled persons have “full and equal enjoyment” of the functions of the website or software application.
Jared Gordon is an attorney in the Business Practice Group of McCormick Barstow, LLP. Prior to private practice, he served as General Counsel to several online industry companies. He primarily advises clients on ecommerce services, online advertising, software licensing, and other vendor contracts. He also advises clients in intellectual property clearance and registration, website accessibility, online sales taxes, social media law, employment matters, acquisitions and sales, real estate, and advice on related litigation. He is the co-Chair of the CLA’s Internet and Privacy Law Committee.