C-10 Employee Certification, new Worker’s Compensation rules and General Licensing

California electricians might be ‘shocked’, but a new no-holds-barred policy on certification may leave some contractors ‘grounded.’ The new calendar will bring new regulations, and ‘digging’ into the underground economy is one focus, particularly for contractors not providing insurance coverage to their workers. I’ll show a license Qualifier how to get his own individual sole owner’s license, at the same time..

According to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), and effective immediately, it has established a zero-tolerance enforcement policy and will pursue legal action against any “C-10” Electrical contractor who willfully employs even one uncertified employee who is performing work as an electrician.

The CSLB is legally required to open an investigation and initiate disciplinary action against the contractor, which may include license suspension or revocation, within 60 days of receipt of a referral or complaint from the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS). According to the CSLB, Labor Code Section 3099 clearly states that certification by the DAS is required for anyone who performs work as an electrician for “C-10” Electrical contractors (the law does not pertain to other license classifications such as “C-7”, “B”, “A”, or “C-20”).

Electricians are defined as all persons who engage in the connection of electrical devices for “C-10” contractors. It is the Board’s position that a certified electrician or an approved apprentice must perform all electrical work. The actual licensed contractor (Qualifying individual) does not need to be certified. For more information on these DAS requirements, including how to become certified, visit Capitol Services Online Resources page at www.cutredtape.com.

Q: I understand there is a new law, which deals with Worker’s Compensation requirements. Could you summarize this law and let me know what impact it may have on my business. I carry Worker’s Comp for my employees but it’s getting tougher every day to keep up with all these business expenses.

A: Effective January 1, 2011, the CSLB will be able to issue a “stop order” to any licensed or unlicensed contractor who fails to carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance coverage for his or her employees. Since you’re already complying with this requirement, this new law should not directly impact your business. However, if the law forces some of your competitors — that are not now covering their employees — an indirect effect will be to ‘level’ the playing field for licensees, like yourself, who are complying with the law The new law will be one more tool in the Board’s fight against the “underground economy”. The CSLB will now have unprecedented authority to stop unlicensed and/or uninsured activities. According to the CSLB, failure to comply with a stop order will be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine up to $10,000.

Q: As a member of my local Builder’s Exchange, I enjoy your weekly questions and answers. Here’s one for you. I am the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) for my corporation and hold a “B” and “C-17″ license. I personally would like to have my own “Sole Ownership” contractor’s license to perform side jobs in the future. How would I go about securing a “B” license and would I have to go thru testing, fingerprinting etc? Thank you for your time and response.

A: As the RMO for your company, you can apply for a Sole Owner license for the same classifications you presently qualify (“B” and “C-17”) – with NO further testing. Fingerprinting may be necessary if you haven’t already gone through the Live Scan process with the CSLB (this was started in 2005). To secure an ACTIVE Sole Owner license you must own at least 20% of your present corporation; file a new application for Original License (7065 Waiver); post a new bond and carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance, if you hire any employees.

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