The case of a hotel worker in central Florida who recently was arrested and accused of raping a hotel guest underscores the importance of all employees working in the hospitality field to undergo criminal background checks. According to a report from an NBC affiliate in Orlando, an employee who lived and worked in the hotel used his master key to enter a female guest’s hotel room in the middle of the night and sexually assault her. The man had been in and out of state prison seven times for crimes ranging from burglary to battery.
The hotel owner hasn’t said whether a criminal background check was done on the employee, but the crime — and the fact that it was preventable — is a prime example of why it’s important for hotel workers to go through a pre-employment screening process. Owners of many smaller hotel chains and single hotels and motels skip this crucial step to save money. But trusting employees with access to guests’ rooms and personal property is a risky endeavor. Hotel owners should always check a prospective employee’s criminal record, and the applicant’s name should be checked against national and state sex offender registries.
Those with criminal histories should be given a second chance to make a life change, to hold a job and prove they are responsible and trustworthy. But checking someone’s criminal past can reveal patterns that make it easier for an employer to make an informed decision about a prospective hire’s potential to do well — or become a liability and a safety risk to those around him.