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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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).

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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