New bill aims to thwart bad Santas by requiring background checks

Bernadette Hogan and Kenneth Garger

December 19, 2019

Originally published in New York Post on December 19, 2019.

A New York lawmaker is going after bad Santas with a bill that would require costumed characters who work with children to undergo background checks before getting hired.

The bill, introduced this week by state Sen. James Skoufis (D-Rockland), would apply to mall Santas, Easter bunnies and other characters who are hired by employers to play their parts.

Employers would have to screen the prospective workers to ensure they are not on the state or national sex offender registry.

Hiring a known sex offender would be a class-A misdemeanor.

“There’s a list, it’s time we check it twice,” Skoufis said in a statement. “It’s shocking to me that this isn’t law already.”