|Dec 9 (Reuters) - A TD Ameritrade Holding Corp employee who said the firm retaliated against him for complaining about potential securities law violations must arbitrate the claim instead of suing in court, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday.|
The ruling by the 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals could further weaken U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules that carry out procedures required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law to protect whistleblowers and curb retaliation against them by employers, lawyers said.
The law created a private cause of action for whistleblowers whose employers retaliate against them for lawfully providing information to the SEC, or making disclosures protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley governance law. But a spate of recent federal court decisions are split about the reach of those protections.
The three-judge panel on Monday ruled that Dodd-Frank did not invalidate an earlier employment agreement between a unit of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp and Boris Khazin, who worked in the firm's compliance group, to arbitrate employment-related disputes through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's system.
Employment agreements that brokers and other brokerage employees sign when joining firms typically include so-called "mandatory arbitration" provisions.
The decision hinged on language in Dodd-Frank that makes mandatory arbitration agreements unenforceable with respect to whistleblower claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, a law...