Worker’s Comp Suspension, Family Waiver & RMO’s

Centuries ago in ancient times all roads led to Rome. In California’s contractor licensing world all roads lead to CSLB HQ in Sacramento. When filing on time is a crucial issue going to the ‘source’ is often the best bet for success…

Q: My husband and I own a building company in Northern CA. On our renewal date for comp insurance, we chose to drop State Fund and go with a different carrier. Our new Worker’s Compensation certificate was sent to the CSLB showing a different Insurance company but using the same effective date — 10-1-2011. There was no lapse in coverage; however we just received a notice from the CSLB that our license will be suspended retroactively to 10-1-2011 unless we provide a current certificate (which they already have).

The problem is they’re 2 to 3 weeks behind in their paperwork, and even though we are in compliance, they think we’re not. What can we do to ensure our license is not suspended??? I’m pretty sure our certificate is in the pile of thousands of others as this is a very popular renewal date. We’ve already had one potential customer ask us about this “problem.” Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

A: One solution would be to come to Sacramento and hand-deliver a new Certificate to the Contractor’s Board (or you could have someone deliver it to them on your behalf). A second option would be to call the Board and see if you can fax this form to someone in the Worker’s Comp Unit. Either way, I suggest asking them to quickly put it on record since this delay is unnecessarily costing you business. Regardless, when your Certificate is finally processed, the Board should backdate your records so no suspension will show up on your license history.

Q: I am a 50% owner and Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) of my General contractor corporation. I am approaching retirement age and would like one of my sons to ‘step up’ and take over. He has worked in many capacities for us for over 10 years. I understand that the Board may grant a test waiver if a close relative is replacing an RMO in a family business.

My question is, if my son puts in an application and is granted the waiver and is issued the license do I have to remove myself immediately as RMO or could my son have the license and be the backup in a long-term plan, say 1 or 2 years?

A: You’re correct, the CSLB will consider applications for replacing the RMO with a waiver of the law and trade exams. However, there are two parts to this code section (7065.1) so it’s important to reference the correct one. As you stated, the CSLB “MAY” grant a waiver; however it depends on how the application is prepared and the wording of your son’s certification of work experience.

You have an option of remaining on the license as a ‘corporate’ officer; however, once your son becomes the official Qualifier you will no longer be the ‘responsible managing’ officer (RMO). The CSLB will not simultaneously allow two Qualifiers on the same license for the same classification. To implement your “long-term plan” you may want to wait until a few months before retiring and then begin the application process.

Before beginning the replacement process, note that the Hazardous and Asbestos Certifications you hold are NOT subject to any waivers. Your son would need to first qualify as RMO, then file applications one at a time for the ‘ASB’ or ‘HAZ’, and pass both exams. You cannot remain as the “RMO” for Certifications only. These are tied directly to your “A” classification.