I did some freelance work for a small firm. I have copies of signed checks that prove I did work for them that year. But on my 1099 form the employer INTENTIONALLY wrote in the amount - 0 - for my income amount for that year. This same employer called me, bcz he was angry that he had to pay so I can collect unemployment & tried to get out of his responsibility on that end. Then he turned around & LIED on my 1099 form & said I had NO INCOME that year from working for him.. Can I sue this employer? Or what can I do??
Possibly. There is a cause of action called a "fraudulent reporting" claim that you could potentially make if the employer has lied on a tax form such as a W2 or 1099. If so, penalties can be the greater of $5,000 or whatever financial damage it did to you, per false return. From what you have written it is a bit unclear but there is a chance the firm misclassified you as an independent contractor; if so there is a chance you may have other claims as well. Regardless, it sounds like a mess and something you should talk through with an attorney who regularly handles claims like these. Most of us who work in this area offer free, confidential consultations and if there is a claim will generally do the work on a contingency basis (meaning no fees out of your pocket up front). Because these legal claims may take some time to untangle, you may also want to talk to a tax professional since it might not be sorted out fully by the time you need to file your tax returns.
This is not legal advice. Consult with a lawyer about your particular situation.
Yes, you may have a claim based on their false reporting.
This answer does not constitute formal legal advice and you should contact this or another attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and Federal law and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction.
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