Identity theft

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

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 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.

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