What can I do if I was laid off due to restructuring but after I filed a complaint about a hostile work environment?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can I do if I was laid off due to restructuring but after I filed a complaint about a hostile work environment?

I worked for a university medical group for about 10 months when I was laid off last month for restructuring purposes. Before I was laid off, I filled a complaint with HR and requested an early transfer due to being exposed to a hostile work environment. That same day I reported to HR a staff member being inappropriately touched by a provider. Neither issue was resolved and I was laid off supposedly due to restructuring.

Asked on June 26, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The answer depends on whether the restructuring was real or not. While you cannot be retailed against for reporting an inappropriate touching or hostile work environment (assuming that the hostility was directed at employees due to their race, color, national origin, religion, age 40 or over, or sex), that does not prevent termination for legitimate, unrelated reasons. If a number of positions, not just yours, were eliminated by a restructuring, and you were included in the restructuring for valid reasons (like your department being eliminated; several jobs like yours being eliminated; etc.), then you most likely do not have a legal claim--again, even with a complaint having been filed, you can be terminated or your job eliminated for other legitimate reasons. 
However, if the lay off appears to have been pretextual, in that (for example; an extreme case) only you were restructured, or there is no apparent non-retaliatory reason for your inclusion in it, then this may have been illegal retaliation against you for having filed a complaint. If you believe this was the case, you should contact the Equal Empoyment Opportunity Commission or EEOC to discuss the situation and possibly file a complaint for both the behavior behind your original complaint and for the retaliation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption