Limited Speciality Licensing, DAS Electrical Certification & Worker’s Comp Exemptions

Changes in ‘limited’ specialty licensing in CA has created ‘unlimited’ numbers of relevant questions for contractors. In sharing his disturbing story another contractor will discover there are still a few good options open to him…

Q: I was checking the CSLB website for information on the “C-61/D-51”, classification.  It’s showing: “D-51” – Waterproofing and weatherproofing — under relevant class.  Do you know what the “relevant class” is?


A: The “D-51” (waterproofing and weatherproofing) was a “C-61” (limited specialty) category eliminated by the CSLB a number of years ago. This work now falls under any of several classifications, depending on the specific project you’re doing. The “relevant” classifications are “C-39 (roofing), “C-33” (painting), “C-29” (masonry), or “C-54” (tile). Therefore, if the waterproofing/weatherproofing you’re doing relates to roofing, you’ll need a “C-39”; if painting is your specialty, you’d need the “C-33”, and so on.

Q:  Do you have any experience dealing with the CSLB relating to certification of electricians? I was trying to get some idea on what kind of enforcement action is typically taken and what penalties might be expected for non-compliance.

A: According to the 2012 License Law and reference book, “Upon referral by the Chief of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) alleging a violation under this section, the Registrar of Contractors shall open an investigation”.  The Registrar may also initiate an investigation and disciplinary action on his own.

We’re knowledgeable about the history of these certifications through the DAS but have not directly handled any.  The CSLB only gets involved as it relates to enforcement actions for “C-10” contractors that do not comply.  Enforcement of this certification is relatively new for the CSLB and we’re not aware of any stats regarding how often the CSLB has taken action for non-compliance and what penalties, if any, have been levied.

Q: Thanks for what you do with the industry!  I have three questions.

1. We recently had to downsize and lay off all our employees. If I’m the only employee, can I hold a license, be incorporated and not have Worker’s Compensation Insurance?  2. Can I switch my Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) status to a new and different corporation and still keep all my classifications? The new corporation would be an “S” or a “C”, if that made any difference. And again the same insurance question if I’m the only employee on this new company. Finally, is there a form to file if I have no employees?

A: Thank you for the kind words.  We’re sorry to hear you’ve had to lay off your employees.

If you’re the only Officer (and employee) on a corporate license as well as the Qualifier, you can hold the license without needing Worker’s Compensation. This would be true for your existing company or “new and different” corporation (“S” or “C”).  The form you’ll want to file with the Board is the “Exemption from Workers’ Compensation”.