You might not normally question whether a McDonald’s employee has gone through a rigorous background check. But the second that employee comes out from around the counter, dresses up as Santa and sits kids in his lap, the dynamic changes. When this happened in Baytown, Texas, the restaurant received an anonymous call that “Santa” was a registered sex offender who had served 12 years in jail for molesting an 11 year old boy. Police then...
were called; Santa was handcuffed but eventually released because he had not broken any laws. Norman Burbank, 54, committed his crime in Ohio in 1998 and served his time. Unless a sex offender is on parole or probation that requires he stay away from minors, nothing that happened in that McDonald’s was against the law.
In many states, registered sex offenders cannot be within 100 feet of any school, playground or gymnasium, and they are not allowed to live within 500 feet of schools and parks. That means if you saw such a Santa in any of these places, he might be breaking the law. Conversely, going to a restaurant, or even a mall, does not break any rules.
As a business owner, background checking anyone who has close contact with children is a must. If you are a parent, however, you cannot assume anyone, even the Jolly Old Elf himself, has been checked out. Being present and aware is your best defense.
Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational health screening and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security. EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company to hold both an ISO 27001:2005 certification for information security and an ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management.
All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice. Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.