Not long ago I wrote a blog about the importance of doing a background check on holiday workers, including people who will be playing Santa Claus. Well, not everyone was paying attention. A Houston, Texas, television station reported that a convicted sex offender was discovered playing Santa at an area fast food restaurant. What is even more interesting, it is not unlawful for a convicted sex offender to play Santa Claus in Texas. The problem is the restaurant didn’t bother to have a criminal history background check done before allowing this man to play Santa! If they had, they would have found that he had been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy in Ohio.
Is there a moral to this incident? You bet! Before employing anyone who is going to be in close contact with children, have a background check done! If a child had been molested by this individual, do you suppose the restaurant would have been sued by the parents for negligent hiring?
Doing a background check is such a simple and inexpensive exercise compared to the cost of going to court as a defendant in a lawsuit; it’s difficult to imagine why this man wasn’t checked.