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Sex Offender in Cookie Monster Suit Arrested

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 12, 2011 6:43 AM

Would your business be liable for accidentally hiring a sex offender? It could be possible, depending on what kind of business you're in, and if any harm came out of it. That's probably the reason why if you're thinking about hiring an employee, a background check might be something worth doing.

Take, for example, the case of the sex offender who was arrested in a cookie monster costume.

James Lester Rogers, a convicted sex offender, donned the lovable Sesame Street character costume as part of his new job at an Iowa city fair, according to the Huffington Post.

Rogers had been convicted in 2005 for lascivious acts with a 7-year-old girl, meaning that he was not supposed to be working at the fair in the first place, the Huffington Post reports.

Yet, there he was, dressed up in a Cookie Monster suit, which likely drew the attention of children at the fair.

The owner of the costume company that hired Rogers says that they did not run a background check. The owner said that Rogers needed a job, so he was put to work almost immediately. Rogers would have also been sent to work at other private events and birthday parties if he hadn't been discovered by a parole supervisor who recognized him at the fair.

Employers should also be cautioned that going too far and digging too deep into a potential employee's private life may be crossing a line. Too much snooping around could result in a lawsuit from the employee.

On the other hand, employers who negligently hire employees could be liable in certain situations. An employee background check of relevant information would help ward off potential lawsuits and any harm that can come out of certain situations: like hiring a sex offender to work at children's parties.

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