JPMorgan Strikes Deal to End Former Compliance Employee’s Retaliation Lawsuit

Image: M.O. Stevens

A former compliance employee for JPMorgan Chase Bank NA has agreed to drop a retaliation lawsuit against the bank.

Shaquala Williams, a former JPMorgan vice president, had sued her former employer last year, alleging the bank fired her for raising concerns about its compliance program. A federal judge in July denied a request by JPMorgan to dismiss the case, opening the door to a trial.

The agreement with Ms. Williams allows JPMorgan to avoid a trial, which would likely have involved further airing of the bank’s internal compliance matters.

Ms. Williams and the bank didn’t disclose any details about their agreement. In a court order on Monday, District Court Judge Jed Rakoff agreed to dismiss the case, saying the two parties had reached a deal to end the lawsuit.

A JPMorgan spokesman on Tuesday declined to comment on the agreement. A lawyer for Ms. Williams didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

In her lawsuit, Ms. Williams said she was fired after raising concerns about insufficient sanctions screening and anticorruption practices. She argued that her termination, as well as actions JPMorgan took that she said caused the New York State Attorney General’s office to withdraw a job offer, violated whistleblower protection laws.

Judge Rakoff in July threw out Ms. Williams’s allegations that JPMorgan’s action had adversely affected her job offer, but he said the claim she was improperly fired could proceed to trial. The facts of the case supported an inference that Ms. Williams may have been fired for the issues she raised, the judge ruled.

Ms. Williams’s internal complaints occurred at a time when JPMorgan was subject to the terms of settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Justice Department over violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, further complicating the matter for the bank.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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