Can a previous employer be held accountable for exposing personal info?

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Can a previous employer be held accountable for exposing personal info?

My ex-employer mailed my w-2 with my name,
address and social security number in the
mailing address window.

Can I sue? Can they be reprimanded? How do
I protect my identity?

Asked on January 25, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Nebraska

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you actually suffer some kind of loss from this, such as being the victim of identity theft, then you may very well have a cause of action. However, if you have not suffered any damages, that is you have not been "injured", then there really is nothing to sue for. And the law does not provide compensation for speculative damages, only for actual and provabable losses. That having been said, possibly, you could sue for the cost of a subscription to a credit-monitoring service if you think it worth your while.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you actually suffer some kind of loss from this, such as being the victim of identity theft, then you may very well have a cause of action. However, if you have not suffered any damages, that is you have not been "injured", then there really is nothing to sue for. And the law does not provide compensation for speculative damages, only for actual and provabable losses. That having been said, possibly, you could sue for the cost of a subscription to a credit-monitoring service if you think it worth your while.


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