A jury could conclude allegations made by a former JPMorgan Chase Bank compliance executive who said she was fired for blowing the whistle have merit, a federal judge ruled.

Shaquala Williams sued JPMorgan in November, 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 was hired in July 2018 as a vice president in the bank’s global anti-corruption compliance department. She alleged the bank fired her in October 2019 in retaliation for her attempts to escalate internally her concerns about the bank’s anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program.

On July 26, District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled Williams’s case could move forward to trial, scheduled for December in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The crux of the judge’s decision to allow the case to proceed is 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 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.

But the judge found there is a “genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the record clearly and convincingly shows that JPMorgan would have terminated Williams notwithstanding her protected activity.”

“A reasonable jury could conclude that Williams’s protected activity was a contributing factor to her termination,” Rakoff wrote. “Ultimately, ‘to weigh these competing narratives’ requires evaluating the credibility of the plaintiff and her supervisors, a task reserved for trial.”

In the same ruling, the judge dismissed Williams’s claim JPMorgan interfered with a post-employment opportunity with the New York State Attorney General’s office. Williams had claimed JPMorgan would not answer questions from the AG’s office regarding the termination of her employment; the bank responded it has a policy not to discuss the reasons behind any employee termination. She was later hired by Wells Fargo in a similar position she held at JPMorgan, the ruling said.

When contacted, JPMorgan declined comment.