CSLB “Anti Self-Employed Experience” Campaign 6/11/13

Looks like the Contractors State License Board is continuing to single out applicants using self-employed experience to obtain their California contractors license.

I hear from someone almost on a daily basis who received a letter from a CSLB license tech asking for additional proof of their experience. Mostly these poor souls find me on ContractorTalk.com. I’m sure that it’s a very small number of people who get these CSLB letters that find ContractorTalk and then find me. That would suggest that there are a large number of applicants out there who are receiving these letters that don’t reach out to anyone for help.

This entire “anti-self-employed experience” campaign just smells of government over-stepping once again. Why, after so many years of accepting self-employed experience, has the CSLB decided that the information provided by the applicant on the official application is no longer good enough?

Why does the CSLB continue to keep this change in procedure from the public? Have they put out a press release to notify potential applicants, and the industry as a whole, that they’ve implemented this new procedure? No. Why is that? Have they posed the question internally that this procedure change may possibly be illegal? I wish I knew the answer to that one.

Do they have the legal authority to ask applicants for additional proof of experience? Yes, yes they do. Do I have an issue with the CSLB asking some applicants for additional proof? No, no I don’t. What I think is wrong, or government overstepping, is the CSLB verbally telling their staff (nothing written that I have seen…yet) to ask self-employed applicants for additional proof at the first level of app review. Why is the CSLB having application technicians (of which I used to be one) asking for experience verification? This has ALWAYS been the job of the Application Investigation Unit.

I had an email conversation with the CSLB regarding this issue and they danced around the subject of public disclosure like it was poison.

Here is part of the conversation starting with a reply I received from the Classification Deputy:

“Just to clarify, this is not a procedural change. If you refer to the section below, you will see that the Registrar may request any information necessary to determine the applicant’s qualifications. These documents are reviewed by the classification deputy / myself as part of an investigation to establish the applicant possesses the required minimal qualifications for licensure. I am sure you understand the need for applicants to produce verifiable documentation to the board as part of the application process. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

ARTICLE 2. APPLICATION FOR LICENSE

816. Application Form for Original License

(a) The license application form prescribed by the Registrar shall seek from each member of the personnel of the applicant the following information:

(1) All information required by Section 7067.5 of the Code.

(2) A record of the previous experience in the field of construction of the member of applicant’s personnel who will qualify for the classification requested.

(3) Whether the applicant or a member of applicant’s personnel or whether to his or her knowledge anyone with whom he/she has been associated in the contracting field has ever been licensed or had a professional or vocational license refused or revoked.

(b) The application shall be signed, under penalty of perjury, by each member of the personnel of the applicant.

(c) Nothing in this Rule shall be interpreted to limit the Registrar’s authority to require an applicant to provide any other information necessary to determine the applicant’s qualifications, or to exempt the applicant therefrom, or to enforce the provisions of the Contractor’s License Law, except as otherwise required by law. The Registrar may exempt applicants who are eligible for waiver of examination, pursuant to Section 7065.1 of the Code, or who are not required to take the examination, pursuant to Section 7065 of the Code, from the requirement to submit information described in subsection (a)(2).

(Authority cited: Section 7008, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 7066, 7067.5, 7067.6 and 7070, Business and Professions Code.)”

My response to the above would be:

It is, by definition, a change in procedure. See: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/procedure?s=t the law may not have changed, but the application of the law and the application processing procedure has indeed been changed and/or modified.

Funny how the Government likes to spin reality by hiding by the law.

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