Identity theft

My employer compromised every employees
W-2 form to another party seems to have
happened from email phishing as they have
been sending emails to be weary of such acts.
My accountant tells me someone already filed
a tax return using my social security number. At
this point, i’m not sure how far the identity theft
has gone, but what’s certain is that they’ve
already filed a tax return. I am in the process of
checking my credit. Can I sue my employer for
the damages?

Asked on April 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can possibly sue your employer for actual, provable (not hypothetical) damages IF--
1) You can prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" that this is where the ID thief got your information; that is, you must be able to show causality; and also
2) You can show that the employer was negligent, or unreasonably careless, in protecting or securing the information, since if they got hacked or compromised without doing anything unreasonably sloppy or careless, they were not at fault--and without fault, there is no liability in a case like this.


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