Pre-Employment Background Screening 101 – How to Mitigate Your Risk


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What employers can do to mitigate risk with respect to their background screening program. By: One Source The Background Check Company

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.) employers have two critical responsibilities when using the services of a third-party background screening firm to request background checks on prospective employees.

Employers must do the following in order to comply with the FCRA when requesting a background check:

  1. Employers must provide prospective employees a clear and conspicuous disclosure regarding the fact that you will conduct a background check AND you must get the individual’s written authorization to conduct such. This is typically called the disclosure and authorization notice and it must be in a stand-alone document. The FCRA requires that when an employer requests a background check (aka a “consumer report”) for employment purposes they must provide “a clear an conspicuous disclosure” in writing “before the report is procured or caused to be procured, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure” and “the consumer has authorized in writing….” (15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(A)(i)-(ii))
  2. Employers must follow the adverse action process, which is potentially a two-step process. The first step is typically referred to as the “pre-adverse action step” and you cannot send a final “no hire” letter until you complete this step. So, hypothetically speaking, after completing step 1 above you receive the results of a background check from your background screening vendor. The report indicates a criminal history or some other adverse item of information.  Based on this information, you may decide not to hire the individual.  Now what?  Before you take any final adverse action you must first provide the individual with a copy of the report you are reviewing and a summary of their rights as prescribed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  This allows the prospective employee to review the report and alert you if any information contained therein is inaccurate or incomplete and also to act on that incorrect or incomplete information with the background screening company. You should wait at least five business days before taking any final adverse action although realize that in some states and cities, Fair Chance laws and ordinances (aka Ban the Box laws and ordinances) may impose greater time periods. For more about Ban the Box, click here.

At a minimum, employers must follow above two steps to comply with the FCRA.  Depending on what state or city you are in there may be additional requirements, but these are the basics when doing pre-employment background checks on prospective employees.

Which brings me to the class action litigation and a sampling of the cases brought against employers for alleged non-compliance with the FCRA related to steps 1 and/or 2 described above.

  • Class action complaint filed against an airline catering and provisioning company (Case No. 2:17-cv-1298) for allegedly not following the pre-adverse action process.
  • Class action complaint filed against a major retail pharmacy chain (Case No. 5:17-cv-6019) for not providing the proper disclosure that a background check would be conducted and failure to follow the pre-adverse action process.
  • Class action complaint filed against a plasma provider (Case No. 5:17-cv-6018) for not following the pre-adverse action process.

There is a very active plaintiff’s bar filing complaints against both employers and background screening companies for alleged violations of the FCRA.  They do not discriminate based on type of employer or size of your business.  You’ve been warned.

But not all is lost as these are curable compliance issues. You start by reviewing your background screening program–your policies and procedures–with counsel versed in the FCRA and state consumer protection laws and guidance that govern background screening. You need to go step by step through the hiring process to understand where you may have deficiencies and need to shore up your compliance. For instance–if, as an employer, you utilize an adjudication matrix or screening standards to automatically classify individuals as “ineligible” for hire and automatically proceed to send a no hire letter we should talk about your background screening program and whether it complies with the requirements of the FCRA.  Or, your FCRA disclosure and authorization has a lot of “extraneous language” such as a release of liability language, we should talk.  Willful violations of the FCRA are eligible for statutory damages of $100 to $1,000/violation, plus punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

One Source The Background Check Company provides TotalCheck screening on applicants, while maintaining superior turnaround time and customer service. Find out more about how One Source can help your company or organization with your background screening needs – call today 800.608.3645.

Lindsey Buchheit Named as Estate Planning Law Specialist and Accredited Estate Planner


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Attorney Lindsey Buchheit of Buchheit Law is newly certified as an Estate Planning Law Specialist (ESPL) by the Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc., an organization accredited by the American Bar Association and affiliated with the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.  Her office is in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, where she practices law in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Ms. Buchheit is currently the only attorney in the State of Iowa to hold the EPLS designation.

To become Board-certified as an Estate Planning Law Specialist (EPLS), an attorney must have devoted at least one-third of her practice to estate planning for a minimum of five years.  In addition to passing a comprehensive examination in estate planning law, the attorney must also receive recommendations from five colleagues and must establish that she has at least 36 continuing legal education credits within the last three years.

By obtaining her EPLS, Attorney Buchheit also earned the designation as an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) through the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. The Supreme Court of Iowa does not certify lawyers as specialists and the certification is not a requirement to practice law.

Visit Buchheit Law at


Greetings from Sedgwick, Brennan, Talley & Co. and TRN Settlement Services!


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Greetings from Sedgwick, Brennan, Talley and Co. and TRN Settlement Services! We hope you are having a pleasant and gratifying week!  As locally owned businesses and proud members of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce, we enjoy supporting Siouxland and our local economy by participating in community events and engaging in volunteer opportunities.

Sedgwick, Brennan, Talley and Co. offers abstracting and title services in order to guaranty clean title to the property you purchase and protect your property rights.  When the abstracting is finished, TRN Settlement Services takes care of the closing process to make sure your property purchase goes smoothly. The staff at TRN collaborates with all parties involved in the transaction to gather the necessary information, assemble the required documents needed to close on a home or to refinance an existing mortgage, and then present those documents for signing to each respective party.

Our Mission:  To provide our clients with accurate information and research to complete real estate transactions.  We will accomplish our mission through innovative solutions, systems, research, and people working together.

Our Core Values:

  • Integrity: We will do what we say we will do. We must be honest and forthright in all of our dealings.
  • Innovation: We will find a better way of doing everything that we do every day.
  • Respect: We will treat every person with dignity and courtesy.
  • Orderliness and Timeliness: We will provide our services by means of a systematic process which enables us to deliver our finished product in the timeframe promised.
  • Accuracy: The foundation of our business is accurate information.
  • Confidentiality: The confidential information we work with is highly sensitive. The information is entrusted to us, and we will maintain its private nature at all times.
  • Team Work and Synergy: Our success depends on contributions and involvement by everyone.
  • Attitude: We will strive to maintain a positive frame of mind. Our positive attitude should be contagious!

Our two companies are able to work together seamlessly to support Siouxland real estate transactions in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  Both Sedgwick, Brennan, Talley and Co. and TRN Settlement Services are certified as compliant with the American Land Title Association’s Best Practices. This certification demonstrates that our offices provide a safe and secure transaction, which protects the consumer from fraud.  It is accomplished by continuous monitoring of seven pillars:

  • Proper Licenses to conduct title and settlement services as required in each state
  • Escrow Trust Account Controls with daily reconciliation
  • Security Programs and Procedures to protect non-public personal information
  • Settlement Procedures that comply with federal and state consumer laws
  • Timely Delivery of title policies
  • Maintenance of Professional Liability and Fidelity Coverage to stand behind the products and services we provide
  • Procedures for resolving consumer complaints

Sedgwick, Brennan, Talley and Co. and TRN Settlement Services are made up of friendly and knowledgeable Siouxlanders committed to responsive, accurate, and comprehensive service. You can count on us to provide the most reliable and responsive title insurance, abstracting, closing, and escrow services.  We are located in the heart of downtown within two blocks of each other.  Sedgwick, Brennan, Talley and Co. is located on the main floor of the Ho Chunk Centre and TRN Settlement Services is on the corner of 5th and Jackson streets.

For more information and to explore our service options, please contact Sedgwick, Brennan, Talley and Co. at 712-258-4503 or TRN Settlements Services at 712-224-2828. You can also email SBT & Co. at or TRN at

Like  Sedgwick, Brennan, Talley, and Co. and TRN Settlement Services on Facebook!

Our Team:

TRN Settlement Services                                                              Sedgwick, Brennan, Talley & Co.

Tami Hansen                                                                                  Elda Raudales

Aimee Jellema                                                                               King James

Rojean Scott                                                                                  Debbie McNaughton

Lorrie Bohlmann                                                                            Bennett Snyder

Kim Davis                                                                                      Matt Mayer

Emily Hinnah                                                                                 John Sandman



Iowa State University’s College of Design and Iowa State Extension Open House this Thursday


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Iowa State University’s College of Design and Iowa State Extension will host an open house just south of historic 4th Street in time for The Big Parade on Thursday, June 29th from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM at 1014 1/2 Design Place.  

Have some refreshments, view an exhibit from the College of Design, find out about the Iowa State University Studio Design course to be offered at Design West this Fall, and information about Extension’s 100th anniversary.  Doors open at 5 pm and will close in time for people to attend the post-parade activities. 

For more information, contact Steve Warnstadt at 712-274-8733 ext 1305.

A special way of helping Siouxland Coalition Against Human Trafficking (SCAHT)


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The Siouxland Coalition Against Human Trafficking (SCAHT) is a local non-profit whose mission is to work toward abolishing all forms of human trafficking through education, collaboration, and advocacy. We are an all-volunteer organization, and are blessed with many active and supportive contributors.  We would like to tell you about one of these people and her special way of helping SCAHT.

Karina Fast is a local real estate agent who uses the slogan, “Sell Houses, Save Humans.”  The idea was born while Karina sat in a strategic marketing class.  They were discussing how to improve the sustainability of non-profit organizations by having them partner with outside businesses.  As Karina began to think about how to develop her real estate business, she thought of organizations that she could partner with that shared similar goals. That is when she connected with Linda Holub, Co-Chair of SCAHT.


From a business perspective, Fast assessed what she could offer the organization: website views from her website, paid advertising with both her real estate business and SCAHT events mentioned, and blog posts to promote awareness. With each house that she sells, she has committed to contribute $100 to SCAHT.  She values safe, thriving communities as does SCAHT and desires to work together toward this common goal.  She would love it if other agents would join her in this effort.

Siouxland’s “Coffee with a Cause” is Your Local Source for Customized Gifts!


Read more on "Siouxland’s “Coffee with a Cause” is Your Local Source for Customized Gifts!" »Jumpy Monkey® Coffee Roasting Company has had a mission since 2003 to provide meaningful employment to individuals with disabilities. We are currently roasting our specialty coffee out of Sergeant Bluff. Through a partnership with NPI in Sioux City, we provide jobs to local individuals who pack the coffee into 12oz, 2oz, and 5lb bags. Countless more jobs are provided to individuals throughout the Midwest through Jumpy Monkey distributors.

Besides finding Jumpy Monkey® on your local grocery store shelves and at, there are two main outlets for Jumpy Monkey® Coffee. These are fundraisers and business gifts. Jumpy Monkey® has become known for our fun customized labels, which can include anything from a school’s mascot to a clever message from a business.

Giving a custom bag of Jumpy Monkey® specialty coffee is a great way to show your customers that you value their business and their loyalty. These bags can include a logo, contact info, a message from you, or even a special custom name for one of our blends/flavors!

Contact us today to learn more about ordering customized bags for your customers, friends, family or anyone who deserves a delicious cup of specialty coffee! For more information about fundraising, visit our website at, or email Mention the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce blog to unlock special promotions for either fundraising or custom bags!

Siouxland Retains Top Spot! Siouxland Ranks First in the Nation for Economic Development


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SIOUX CITY – For the sixth time in the last decade, the Siouxland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
ranks first in the nation in its population category for economic development, according to results released today by the Managing Editor of Site Selection magazine.  The Sioux City MSA was also recognized as the top community for populations under 200,000 in 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2015.  The Siouxland metro ranked second in both 2009 and 2014 and finished third in 2006.  The metro region has ranked in the top three nationally in its population category in a remarkable nine of the last eleven years.

In a prepared statement, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Siouxland Initiative (TSI), Skip

Perley, who serves as President and CEO of Thompson Electric / TEC Corp., said, “Siouxland’s consistent performance over the last decade is a tribute to the many public and private sector leaders who continue to emphasize economic growth and regional cooperation in the tri-state area.  This year’s rankings serve as confirmation that our local economy is strong and remains attractive to outside investors.”  Perley added, “The Siouxland region is grateful to the many companies who choose to call this community home and is proud to receive this prestigious recognition from Site Selection magazine.”

The Siouxland MSA ranked first in the nation for the 2016 calendar year based on the number of qualified economic development projects for communities with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 people.

“Siouxland’s perennial high ranking speaks to a confluence of factors including its multi-state geographic location, and its strong population of companies at the intersection of agriculture and food processing,” said Adam Bruns, Managing Editor of Site Selection.  “Most of all, you get the sense the companies who keep re-investing in the area don’t just find it business-friendly, they find it friendly, period.”

TSI Board member, Charese Yanney, who serves as the Managing Partner of the Guarantee Roofing & Siding Company, introduced Mr. Bruns at the press conference and thanked him for traveling from suburban Atlanta, Georgia to present the award.  Yanney also congratulated the elected leadership of the communities and counties who collectively contributed to Siouxland’s success, presenting each with an inscribed award commemorating the national recognition.


Wayne State College Money Magazine’s Best Nebraska College To Host Siouxland Information Night on February 16


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Wayne State College, Wayne, Neb. earned the title, “Best College in Nebraska,’’ from Money Magazine in 2016 through quality of education, affordability and alumni success. Be a part of this success during a WSC Information Night at the College Center in South Sioux City on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. The Feb. 16 evening is a distinct opportunity to learn about WSC’s Online MBA Program and Undergraduate Business Programs. (Wayne State College class registration for the Summer 2017 Semester opens Feb. 20.) These ratings show that professionals and students can get a high-quality program at an affordable price. In 2015, we had the second-largest graduating class in the history of the MBA program,” said Jennifer Brandow, Director of the MBA program. WSC’s attractive features list an open admission policy in addition to reasonable tuition. Tuition for the MBA program is a flat $325 per credit hour regardless of residency. For undergraduate tuition rates, please see: The convenient program is nationally ranked for affordability. The MBA program is 30 credit hour, non-thesis, 100 percent online program with no required visits to campus. Wayne State College is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Formed in 1997, IACBE accredits business programs and colleges and universities worldwide that demonstrate characteristics of excellence, with more than 230 member educational institutions in more than 20 countries. Wayne State College rose to the top among programs across the nation that combine quality and affordability, see:  Wayne State’s MBA program has recently received high rankings on three independent ranking sites:

  • These rankings have been determined by low-cost and high-quality online education;
  • WSC ranked 14th out of 20 for best online MBA programs from Great College Deals;
  • WSC ranked among the top five online business degrees on The Best Master’s Degrees website;
  • WSC ranked 3rd out of 97 institutions from Get Educated: Best Buy Regional Online MBA.

Wayne State College, a leading, public four-year college in northeast Nebraska, is a proud member of the Nebraska State College System.  Please see: For more information, please talk with the Wayne State College School of Business and Technology at 402-375-7245 or Jennifer Brandow, Wayne State College MBA Director at or at 402-375-7587.

Bright Futures Helping Sioux City Community School District Students


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bright-futuresBright Futures helps students achieve success by matching student needs with resources through partnerships between the schools and the community utilizing social media. Through the Bright Futures’ framework, the District acts as a liaison between needy students and community organizations.  According to Jen Gomez, director of student services and equity education for the Sioux City Community School District, Bright Futures has many benefits. “In addition to meeting any child’s basic needs within 24 hours, our program also is building community leadership capacity to improve problem solving capabilities to address the greater challenges faced by today’s youth.”

Log onto Facebook and like the Sioux City Bright Futures page!

George’s Place – A Response to a Great Need


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The Siouxland Community Health Center has established an in-house resource for adults and children who are in desperate need of new or clean clothes.

It is not at all unusual to see patients young and old come to a doctor’s appointment in clothes that are well beyond their useful life.  To see a young child in torn or dirty clothes or a senior citizen with no socks in the dead of winter is sad and unfortunate.

In response to this need, the Siouxland Community Health Center created “George’s Place” – an on-site closet full of new, clean clothes.  Socks – t-shirts – underwear – shirts – jeans, coats, etc.  We are able to purchase the clothes thanks to the generosity of our staff and outside donors.  When a patient, young or old, comes to us in that condition we will make sure they leave in new and clean clothes.

All funding for George’s Place comes from donations from the general public and staff and are tax-deductible.  Checks should be addressed to the Siouxland Community Health Foundation.

For more information, contact:

Jim Wharton
Director of Marketing and Fund Development or 712-224-1815