Looks like there was something prickly buried in the fine print for one prospective employee and maybe many more. Today Paramount Pictures was hit with a lawsuit over allegedly not telling job applicants exactly how deep into their past it intends to look. “This class action alleges that certain policies and practices followed by Defendants Paramount Pictures Corporation and the Doe Defendants in furnishing, using, procuring, and/or causing to be procured consumer reports for employment purposes violate the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” said the complaint from Michael Peikoff filed in federal court Wednesday (read it here).
While Peikoff applied for an unspecified gig at the studio back in 2011, today’s jury trial-seeking action says he only learned in the last couple of years that that “Defendant Paramount had in fact procured and/or caused to be procured a ‘consumer report’ regarding him for employment purposes based on the illegal disclosure and authorization form.”
As in similar cases involving the likes of Whole Foods and the Publix supermarket chain, the latter of which had to pay out over $6.8 million in a settlement last year, Paramount is accused of not holding strictly to its obligations and responsibilities under the federal Act. With an estimated class membership of more than 500, today’s filing is looking for statutory damages from $100 to $1,000 for each violation of the FCRA as well as punitive damages and legal fees. All of which could add up to a big chunk of change for Paramount if the case is given the reclassification Peikoff is seeking and past Paramount job seekers over the years really get on board.
“Paramount violated ..(a portion of the FCRA).. by procuring or causing to be procured consumer reports for employment purposes regarding Plaintiff and other class members without making the required disclosure ‘in a document that consists solely of the disclosure’ by including the disclosure and authorization form in an application for employment and to obtain a release of claims from Plaintiff and other class members,” notes the 8-page filing.
Peter Dion-Kindem of the self-titled Woodland Hills law firm and Lonnie Blanchard of the LA’s Blanchard Law Group are representing the plaintiff in the case.