By Kristina M. Launey

Seyfarth Synopsis: AB 1757, which would set a standard for website accessibility for businesses in California, has been held in the Legislature to resume discussion in 2024.

While Southern California and Burning Man revelers were hit with unprecedented severe storms in August, the California Legislature has given businesses at least a temporary reprieve from legislation that would likely have caused a tsunami (of lawsuits) of its own. 

As we reported, AB 1757, was seemingly well-intentioned to provide clarity around how websites must be coded to be considered accessible to individuals with disabilities and thus in compliance with the Unruh Act and Disabled Persons Act – California’s corollaries to the Americans with Disabilities Act.  However, as drafted, it had some serious shortcomings that may well have resulted in even greater litigation and liability for businesses than we’ve already seen, and newly-imposed liability on website and mobile app developers.

On August 21, 2023, the bill was held in Senate Appropriations committee at the request of the bill’s author. 

While the storm has passed for now, we expect to see this bill’s return in 2024 and hope revisions will be made to actually accomplish the bill’s stated goal of reducing lawsuits while increasing accessibility and providing useful guidance to businesses.

Edited by Minh N. Vu