Wells Fargo Bank Settles with the US Dept. of Justice for Denying Relay Calls

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is thrilled that Wells Fargo Bank has settled with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over its refusal to accept relay calls, among other violations. Wells Fargo had been blatantly refusing to accept relay calls from deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The NAD led the way in filing over 15 complaints with the DOJ for deaf and hard of hearing individuals against this illegal practice.

The settlement agreement resolves this important access issue by requiring Wells Fargo to accept calls made through a relay service by customers who are deaf, are hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities. According to other terms of the settlement, Wells Fargo must: provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language or oral interpreters, computer-assisted real-time transcription; ensure that its ATMs and websites are accessible to individuals with disabilities; and remedy all other instances of discrimination – including architectural barriers and operational issues. The agreement also requires Wells Fargo to pay up to $16 million to compensate individuals who experienced discrimination in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when trying to call Wells Fargo, access Wells Fargo’s services, or visit one of Wells Fargo’s retail stores. If you experienced such discrimination, follow the link below to learn about how to file a claim for compensation from Wells Fargo. “This settlement sends a strong message to businesses, especially financial institutions, that they must accept all relay calls without any exceptions. We hope that any businesses that have been refusing relay calls will learn from this settlement that this practice is a violation of Federal law and start accepting relay calls immediately,” said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins. Read settlement agreement and/or find out about how to file a claim, visit: www.ada.gov/wells_fargo/.