A federal court recently ruled that a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower claim was subject to arbitration, quieting a whistleblower’s claim that she was entitled to her day in federal court.
A former director of internal auditing at Aetna Inc. resisted arbitration because she thought it was inconsistent with the purpose of Sarbanes-Oxley – namely to “employ [Sarbanes] retaliatory litigation as a vehicle for publicizing corporate misconduct.” Guyden v. Aetna Inc., Case No. 06-cv-4954 (2d Cir. Oct. 2, 2008). The Court disagreed, finding that the main purpose of the statute is to provide a remedy for the aggrieved employee.
The decision benefits employers who want to maintain higher levels of confidentiality in a Sarbanes dispute. If you want to require employees to arbitrate whistleblower claims, this should be spelled out in an arbitration agreement