RME Liability, Electrical Component Installations & “C-61″/”D-12”

The interaction with contractors and the feedback from readers is why this is written. Knowing you read every word is both gratifying and always of concern in getting it exactly right. We welcome your input positive or negative in serving to provide the assistance you need. We get started with a question that may have no answer, or a different one in another situation…

Q:  My Company wants me to be the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) on their contractor’s license.  What kind of liabilities do I take on as the RME?  If the company is sued or has a judgment filed against the license, am I held responsible?


A: This is always a difficult topic because there is no cut and dry answer.  The CSLB regulations typically refer to “responsibilities” of an RME rather than “liabilities”.  The responsibilities include being actively involved in the construction activities as a bona fide employee and working at least 32 hours per week, or 80% of the time the company is in business, whichever is less.


As an employee and not an Officer of the company, an RME would not typically be held financially responsible if the company were sued or if there was a judgment filed against the license.  However it would depend on the situation and it would ultimately be up to the courts or the CSLB to decide. Checking with your legal advisor is also always a good idea when making important business decisions.


Q:  Our company does specialized repair work and I’m curious whether we need to have a contractor’s license.  We do repair work on Commercial Utility Scale Solar Inverters.  Basically it’s an electrical unit that is the bridge between the solar panels and the grid.  All the work we do is in relation to the inverter.  It consists of replacing failed electrical components, transformers, fuses, controller board, and on occasion we replace some of the wiring inside of the Inverter.  Any information you can provide would be helpful.


A:  Yes, you do need a contractor’s license to perform that type of work.  A “C-10” Electrical license would be the appropriate classification in order to repair solar inverters.

Q:  I have been working for a contractor for several years but now want to get my own license.  The company handles a number of trades, but I’m looking at getting a license to apply caulking, sealants and epoxy.  I want to refinish bathtubs; do caulking around windows and anything else allowed by this license around homes and businesses.  What do you suggest I apply for at the Contractors Board?


A:  The “C-61”/”D-12” (Synthetic products) classification is what you need.  Among other things, this classification allows you to install vinyl and epoxy products, handle bathtub and enamel refinishing, and apply synthetic caulking and sealants — including resin — to a wide variety of surfaces.  These can be in and around homes, commercial businesses, as well as public buildings. If qualified, you can also install synthetic turf, rodent guards, and subsurface irrigation drip systems.

You will need to show the CSLB that you have at least 4 years experience within the past ten years in this trade.  You will also be required to pass a business/law exam (there is no trade test).  Thank you for your question and if you need any help in dealing with the CSLB, please contact us.

Contractor’s Note: One of our loyal readers got in touch to ask for clarification of a recent question. The question was regarding a “B” contractor who wanted to know if they could self-perform plumbing and HVAC work.  In my answer I stated that a “B Contractor must perform at least 2 unrelated trades”.  The answer should have been that a “B” contractor must contract for at least 2 unrelated trades.  “B” contractors can either perform the trades, or subcontract the work out.  Good catch, we always welcome and appreciate feedback!