A compliance executive who sued JPMorgan Chase after she said she was fired for blowing the whistle on deficiencies in the bank’s anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program agreed to settle her case.
Shaquala Williams sued JPMorgan in November 2021, alleging she was fired for pointing out flaws in the bank’s compliance program and misrepresentations it made to regulators regarding a 2016 settlement of bribery allegations in the Asia Pacific region.
Williams and JPMorgan filed a settlement agreement Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The agreement, which settled allegations the bank violated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s whistleblower protections when it fired Williams, stipulated it would be finalized Friday. Neither Williams nor JPMorgan commented on the agreement, which did not disclose financial terms.
In July, District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled the case could move to trial, which was scheduled to begin later this year.
The crux of the judge’s decision to allow the case to proceed was that Williams participated in “protected activity” of whistleblowing by pointing out flaws in JPMorgan’s AML compliance program before the bank began taking employment actions against her, like issuing poor performance reviews and launching an investigation into her work.
JPMorgan had argued it would have fired Williams anyway, for reasons other than her engaging in the protected activity of whistleblowing. The bank said several JPMorgan supervisors and at least one junior employee complained about the quality of Williams’s work and alleged she created a hostile work environment.
In the same decision, the judge dismissed another claim by Williams the bank interfered with a post-employment opportunity with the New York State Attorney General’s office.