Guyden v. Aetna, Inc.

544 F.3d 376 (2008)

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Guyden v. Aetna, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
544 F.3d 376 (2008)

Facts

Soon after becoming director of internal audit for Aetna, Inc. (defendant), Linda Guyden (plaintiff) became concerned that Aetna was in danger of violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act because the ineffectiveness of Aetna’s internal audit department, if not addressed, would become a material weakness in Aetna’s internal controls. Guyden raised her concerns with Aetna’s chief financial officer, its chairman and chief executive officer, and its general counsel. Guyden convinced management to hire an outside auditor, but her employment was terminated shortly before the audit committee meeting at which Guyden planned to present the outside auditor’s report. After being terminated, Guyden asked to speak at the next audit committee meeting, but management denied her request. Guyden filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. secretary of labor, and when no action was taken, Guyden sued Aetna in federal district court, alleging that she had been fired for being a whistleblower in violation of the whistleblower-protection provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1514A. The district court dismissed Guyden’s complaint in favor of arbitration. Guyden appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hall, J.)

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