California Contractor State License Board Discipline
“Contractors State License Board Sting Operations”
The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) conducts sting operations throughout the State of California on a regular basis. In fact, CSLB maintains three Statewide Investigative Fraud Teams (SWIFT), whose sole purpose is to conduct sting operations. These sting operations generally target individuals for Contracting Without a License, Failure to Maintain Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Fraudulent Use of a Contractor’s License and Illegal Advertising. All of these violations are prosecuted criminally.
CSLB Investigators start by selecting a geographic location for a sting operation. The Investigators utilize resources such as Craiglist, Angie’s List and Yelp to target specific individuals alleged to be violating the law. The Investigators then either call, message or email these suspected violators and invite them to a house provided by a member of the community. The Investigators meet with each individual who appears at the house and determine whether the individual is violating the law. These encounters are almost always videotaped and recorded for sound.
In many cases, Investigators target individuals who advertise as a “handyman” in an effort to avoid being labeled a contractor. However, California defines a contractor as a licensed person who can negotiate construction related projects and activities for $500 and above. Thus, pursuant to Business & Professions Code §§ 7027.1 and 7027.2, an unlicensed person, including “handymen” cannot negotiate a construction project or activity for above $499, which includes both the cost of materials and labor.
Any individual with employees must maintain valid Worker’s Compensation insurance. Even an unlicensed individual with employees is required to maintain a Worker’s Compensation insurance policy. If an unlicensed or licensed contractor brings employees to a jobsite sting operation, CSLB Investigators can issue a citation for Failure to Maintain Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
CSLB sting operations also target the Fraudulent Use of Contractor Licenses. Business & Professions Code §§ 7027.3 prohibits the use of a contractor’s license by an individual that has not been issued that respective contractor’s license. Many individuals use expired contractor licenses that previously belonged to other contractors in an effort to convince homeowners and undercover CSLB Investigators that they are in fact licensed contractors. Some individuals use the expired contractor license number on promotional materials, work vehicles and even contracts.
Pursuant to Business & Professions Code §§ 7027.1 and 7027.2, it is illegal in California for unlicensed persons to advertise for construction related projects and activities unless they include in the advertisement that they are not a licensed contractor. Before an individual even arrives at a CSLB sting operation location, CSLB Investigators can issue a Citation on the basis of an Illegal Advertisement on the internet.
If you possess a California contractor license and are facing an investigation or Accusation, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.
We assist California contractors in applying for and defending California contractor licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.