No Bad Santa: Background checks prevent problems for employers, parents alike

Santa Checks ImageMany retail stores are already busting out the holiday music and cheery decór, and retailers and organizations are already going about hiring holiday helpers. While any business would do well to screen its holiday help — after all, businesses are more likely to be robbed by employees than shoplifters — it’s a different story altogether when you’re hiring someone to play Santa. Because Mr. Claus and his elves are likely to be around children for the entirety of their roles, it’s best for their employer and the visiting families if these jolly bastions of Christmas cheer undergo proper screening, whether that means a full criminal background check, or simply checking their names (just the once will do) against the sex offender registry. However, parents need to keep in mind that not all venues and locations require the same types of background checks, as the law varies by state and region. Some parents aren’t so worried about whether or not Santa has been screened, as they plan to be present with their children while visiting Kris Kringle. Other parents believe it’s a good thing for Santa’s status to be checked for their own peace of mind. A library in Louisiana was simply trying to comply with state law when it asked if long-time volunteer and jolly Santa look-alike Russ Wise was a sex offender. The law states that no child sex offenders are allowed on library property, but Wise was offended that, after years of active service in his community, as Santa and in various other community positions, his character was being brought into question. “I’m not arguing against the law,” Wise said. “I am not arguing against the reasoning behind the law. My own position is: I am philosophically opposed to having to prove I’m innocent.” Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the law, it still must be upheld for the safety of all participants. Neither Wise nor any other local volunteers are forced to undergo background checks, but because of his lack of compliance, he will not be playing Santa at his local library this year.]]>

You May Also Like

Check out these additional posts from Mind Your Business.

Background Checks for Remote Employees: Things to Consider

Conducting background checks on new hires continues to be a standard practice for most companies. The way many organizations operate, hire, and conduct business has changed. One of the biggest changes is the number of individuals who transitioned to working from home. Many employers are now offering teleworking options or even recruiting nationwide for candidates.…
Read More

Social Media Screening: What You Need to Know

Social media screening has become a hot topic in the industry and for good reason. It was discouraged by legal counsel and was thought of as a very risky hiring practice. The pre-employment screening landscape has changed, and now social media screening is a common hiring practice for commercial organizations and the federal government. Today,…
Read More

Is the National Criminal Database Search Enough?

When conducting a background check, the first step is often searching the National Criminal Database. Also known as the Multi-State or the National Search, this search type pulls information from thousands of databases and jurisdictions. It is often the cheapest option and commonly mistaken as the “all-inclusive” background check. Many companies unknowingly rely on only…
Read More

Quality and Precise Results, On Time!

Let us know about your screening needs to get a custom quote. We work with businesses big and small as well as the government. Which means we have a package of solutions for your organization as well.