When something sounds too good to be true you know the likely results. We ‘strip the cover off’ rules on who can and can’t do electrical work with- or without- the proper license. A ‘swift’ review of an unlicensed contractor’s recent bid for work…
Q: I found Capitol Services on the Internet. You look to be experienced in licensing matters. I was asked to become a RME on a new license. The person wants to use my Sole Owner license and pay me a fee each month. He said I did not even need to be involved in the company. I’m not using the license at this time, but can you tell me if this is legal? I thought I was supposed to work a certain amount of time each week?
A: There are several significant problems with the above ‘proposal’. First, to become a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) you should be involved in the day-to-day operations of your “employer”. Second, as an employee, you should be working at least 32 hours a week (or 80% of the time the company is operating). Third, “loaning” your contractor’s license to someone can get you into trouble with the CSLB. Also, keep in mind that you’ll be required to inactivate your Sole Owner license in order to act as the Qualifier on this new license.
Q: I am writing about Section 7057. Can a supervising contractor for a new house do JUST electrical work without doing any other work? Is he required to have a special license for getting electrical work done by his employee or an unlicensed sub contractor?
A: I suspect you’re asking if a “B” contractor can just do electrical (“C-10”) work on a residential construction project. The answer is NO, since he/she must perform two or more unrelated trades (not including framing) or hold the specialty classification. You can however, take on the project and use a licensed “C-10”sub to do the electrical work. Under no circumstances should you use an unlicensed subcontractor.
Q: I have a quick question that hopefully you could answer. If someone has been acting in the capacity of a General contractor, overseeing subcontractors and laborers in various specialties, but has not had a license, could that “illegal” experience be used to qualify towards applying for a legitimate license?
A: Yes, the CSLB will accept self-employed (illegal) experience as long as it can be certified by someone who has worked with this individual. In a small number of cases the CSLB will also ask for verifiable proof such as pay stubs, signed contracts or tax returns. The CSLB regularly conducts “stings” to catch unlicensed contractors so it is a good idea to quickly get a license and contract legally.
The CSLB SWIFT Unit recently conducted a sting operation in the Central Valley. Two of the suspects did not provide bids at the sting location, but said they would e-mail/fax their bid to the investigator (who was posing as a home owner) within a few days. After measuring the kitchen and both bathrooms, “Mr. Smith” left. True to his word, the investigator received a bid and then asked “Mr. Smith” to come to her place of employment to review it. The unlicensed individual “contractor” arrived without ever noticing that he was at the CSLB office. He confirmed the estimate and was immediately issued a Notice To Appear (NTA) for illegal advertising and contracting without a license.