This is a new section I'm starting about things I will no longer put up with. One of them: stupid accounting departments. I can't do anything about it now. But when I'm head of a production company or head of a studio, that's going to be the first target in my cross hairs.
I've had two weeks of fixing a problem with my passport that has caused quite a bit of irritation for a production company I worked for doing casting calls for that reality show. It seems to them, the only two valid forms of ID needed to complete an I-9 work form are a DL and a passport. I had the DL but did not bring the passport and thus they told me I would not get paid until I did. The reason for my delay is that I've been hesitant on giving out this information so I consulted a lawyer. Paranoid? Maybe, but maybe it's time for a wake-up call.
PRODUCERS! WHY DO WE HAVE TO SUBMIT EVERY FORM OF ID AND CONTACT INFO KNOWN TO THE UNIVERSE JUST SO WE CAN WORK FOR YOUR SHOW? HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
I think I found the line. Refusing pay, based on refusal to show additional forms of ID after two forms of it were already given is not only a pain in the ass but illegal.
I did not understand is why this company needed my passport when there are many other types of ID stated on the I-9 that are also included as "acceptable" forms of identification. What types you ask? It clearly states Social Security card, non drivers license, commercial license, air plane license, military ID and any other form of government ID greater than a library card. Since the production was not shooting out of the country I see no need to submit my passport information because I view that information as private and something I should only have to share if needing to show it to a government official.
Second only to my right to privacy, is the fact that a company should not force its workers to submit pass port identification if the work being done for the production is being done on a "local" basis. In other words, if the company is not willing to ship me off to France or the Bahamas to work for them, then FUCK their need to see my passport.
Lastly, in the United States, citizens are not required to get a passport, it's optional. A company that requires its workers to have a passport and will refuse pay if they don't is illegal. It's discrimination without basis and had I gone to law school and had nothing better to do I would file charges against them. It would be one thing if this company hires people out to work over seas for them but it's another if the work being done is domestic. You cannot make one of your credentials for employment based on whether or not someone has the ability to travel overseas if the work being done is NOT being done overseas. It's retarded. The smoking gun here is the threat that they will not pay until their version of a proper ID has been presented to them for approval.
The people who worked for the company told me how they have to show their passports every year and that for whatever reason, that's just the way it is. Well, I'm here to say it's not the way. A company cannot make up it's own rules on how it wants to interpret a federal tax form. That's just the way it is.
Hope this is at all helpful to anyone other than just me. I'm probably getting madder than I should over the smallest thing but I feel that more and more these days production companies are trampling on our rights as employees and there's nothing we can do about it.
Next time on "I Refuse to: _________": Voodoo Accounting Practices