Can I file a lawsuit on my old employer for not returning my calls regarding my W2 from last year?

I have been trying to get ahold of my job for about 3
weeks now and I have left messages after messages
with them to call me back because I need to get my
W2 from last year. I never received it. I have tried
calling different departments like their HR office,
payroll, ect, and the never answer the phone or
return my calls. I’m not sure what I should do, but it is
starting to stress me out. My phone number is 602-
881-6490 and my name is Anthony.

Asked on June 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue them. While they may be violating their obligations under the law, this is not the sort of violation for which you can receive compensation. Or, to be more accurate:
1) You can't sue them for compensation for stress or for your time.
2) If you don't lose money due to them not providing the W2, you can't sue for compensation, because you did not suffer any compensible loss.
3) If somehow not getting the W2 costs you money (e.g. it causes a late or inaccurate filing, and there are fines or interest involved on your taxes), you could in theory sue for that money then, *after* you suffer a provable loss. It may not be worthwhile doing so, however, given the costs of a lawsuit.
4) You could file a lawsuit seeking a court order requiring them to turn over or produce the W2, but because you'd have to do so on an "emergent" (or urgent) basis, this would be very complicated for a nonlawyer--and if you hired a lawyer, you'd have to foot the legal costs yourself (you would not be reimbursed).


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