CSLB Work Experience Seminar Part 2

CSLB work experience seminar part 2 includes pictures from the meeting and the video taken by the CSLB. I’m in the front row wearing the blue shirt.

I asked at one point if every critical classification applicant would be required to provide additional verification documents. Rick Villucci didn’t exactly answer the question. But I got the feeling that the answer is yes. If you are applying for a critical classification, you WILL be asked to provide that additional experience.

CSLB experience seminar

CSLB Work Experience Seminar Part 1

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CSLB Application Investigation Unit

What you can expect when you are dealing with the CSLB Application Investigation Unit

I received a call today from one of my readers. He told me that his application was sent to the Application Investigation Unit or AIU. He received the AIU letter just days before his test date. Fortunately, he made the correct choice and took the exams… because he passed! Congratulations on passing the State tests your first time.

Just to refresh you, the application is reviewed by a license technician. At this level, the tech can ask for corrections to the app, or additional experience documentation depending on if the classification is considered to be “critical class.” In the reader’s case, he was asked to send them transcripts of his 5 yr Architectural degree. The License Classification Deputy, which is usually at a minimum (or supposed to be) an Enforcement Representative, or ER1 is the person that makes the determination that his 5 yr degree was worth 3 yrs towards the 4 yr minimum requirement. So his app was posted and test date assigned.

CSLB Application Investigation Unit

Now the Application Investigation Unit steps in. [Read more…]

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Contractor Talk Post

Wow…. here’s a post/question/comment/complaint I received in the ContractorTalk Forum. I’m am so floored by how the CSLB is treating applicants, I’m beside myself. Read on…

Phil – I think you’re right about flagging Asian last names. As I explained to you in my private message, I’m being asked for all kinds of documentation for my Class B. And, I have an Asian last name. Go figure.

They didn’t take my business classes, algebra, advanced math or my CA real estate license and appraisal courses into consideration at all. First I was told that they can’t call my employer out of state, so they want 1099’s and check stubs. Fine. Sent them. The Licensee Deputy approves and then they send me to an Experience analyst. She tells me that the 1099’s are useless, because I, “could have earned the money doing anything”. So why did you ask me to hunt down an old, handicapped prior employer 3,000 miles away to get the darn things?

She tells me that my application shows c6 work and not Class B. She sends me a form asking if I want to withdraw my application. I emailed Andrea S. and asked her since when cantilevering decks, framing additions, siding and roof work is millwork. She said it was millwork and not general building! How ’bout that? She asks me to provide permits and contracts. I explain that as a journeyman employee I’m not required to have either, and that legally my contractor employer isn’t even required to keep those docs for more than 3 years. They then asked for client contacts, which I don’t have as an employee.

She says that I need to go back to the elderly, sick employer 3,000 miles away and get a notarized letter from him outlying my duties. I included hours worked, duties by year for the 10 years through apprenticeship (4yrs) and journeyman level (6 years). What else should he document in the letter?

I do think I’m being targeted. When I explained that I felt that shuffling me from department to department for 10 months now is excessive, and I don’t understand why they ask for documentation that they then tell me they can’t use (like the 1099’s and pay stubs), I’m told that I need permits and the notarized letter from my certifier. Wasn’t his certification enough? No, because he was a foreman and not a contractor. Again, I have no legal reason to have permits as a journeyman. I think they just don’t want to license me – possibly because I’m Asian.

I even included letters from people who can verify that I’ve done extensive work on my own homes. I offered to send in 200 material receipts to verify the work and was told that they weren’t needed. What else can I send in to help with this?

contractor talk post

My reply:

I may actually be speechless!!! Oh wait… no I’m not.

Your experience with the cslb just floors me!! How incompetent can one state agency be? Seriously?!? You give them what they ask for, what they have listed in their ridiculous list of acceptable items, then tell you they won’t accept them. I truly wonder (often) why the patients are running the asylum!

My advice is to contact your State Representative! Show the rep the letter the cslb gave you with the options. Show the rep what you provided, per their list, and show the rep the response you received from the cslb.

It has been pointed out to the Board, directly, that the licensing unit is asking for docs that most applicants aren’t required by law to need or obtain. Yet, they keep asking for them. Then they have the nerve to reject those docs.

I wish I had proof in hand that the cslb is profiling Asian applicants, but they are just smart enough not to have put anything in writing… as far as I’m aware. I was just told that the license techs were verbally told to pull apps with Asian last names. So suggesting to a State Rep that you’re being profiled would most likely be flat out rejected by the cslb. For me… I’d mention it anyway. Let the cslb hear the accusation so they know what they’re doing is out in the public.

Like I said… I was almost speechless.

If you feel you’ve received biased, unfair, ridiculous treatment from the CSLB, let them know about it. Submit this form. CSLB Client Services Complaint Form

via California Licensing – Page 70 – Contractor Licensing – Contractor Talk.

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CSLB Qualifying Experience – Final Part

Conclusion to: CSLB Qualifying Experience – Final Part, I will be discussing the CSLB Qualifying Experience outline and process. Final Part

Below are a set of powerpoint slides that were shown at the recent Contractors State License Board Licensing Committee Meeting held at the CSLB office in Sacramento on October 21, 2013.

Along the way, I’ll add my advice and opinion where necessary. Click on the images to enlarge.

CSLB Qualifying Experience - Final Part

Slides #25-26

These slides are self explanatory. You should refrain from using words like; he, she, I, we, us, or your personal name. The experience should always begin with… Experience includes…. then list your daily trade duties performed in the field. Remember…. do NOT list administrative experience.

CSLB Qualifying Experience - Final Part Slides #27-28Slide #27 gives some stats of applications received, processed, rejected. I think these numbers are way too low and don’t encompass what exactly is taking place.Slide #28 states this application processing procedure ensuring that the applicant has the proper experience. Isn’t that what the test is for? Could anybody just walk in and take the exams without any trade experience? I say, let the exams be the lithmus test!After that the slide states that the application processing procedure benefits the applicant in both cost and time. This one blows me away! How is it benefitting the applicant in cost when the chance of their $300 application filing fee disappears? According to them, it happens to 34.2% of the applications every month. And that number doesn’t include the applications that were withdrawn or denied after it was sent to formal investigation.
CSLB Qualifying Experience - Final Part Slide #29States this process frees up enforcement division resources to pursue the most questionable applications. Again, who is determining what “most questionable” is and what is their criteria? The application that uses “he” or “she” in the experience outline? Then it goes on to state that it takes less time than a formal investigation… let’s see… it’s currently taking “non” formal investigations almost 2 months for the applicant to receive the reject letter, return the docs, and have them reviewed. Looks like a push to me. Either way, you’re going to be waiting 3-4 months before your application is even posted and an exam date issued. From there, you’re waiting another 3-4 weeks before you sit for your exams.

That concludes this series of posts “CSLB Qualifying Experience – Final Part” regarding the Contractors State License Board Licensing Committee meeting and powerpoint slide presentation. The bottom line is… have all of your ducks in a row before you submit your application. And I would recommend that you have me review your application and your work experience history first. Paying me $75 could save you $300 and months of heart ache.

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CSLB Qualifying Experience Part 2

To continue in this series of posts, I will be discussing the CSLB Qualifying Experience outline and process. Part 2

Below are a set of powerpoint slides that were shown at the recent Contractors State License Board Licensing Committee Meeting held at the CSLB office in Sacramento on October 21, 2013.

Along the way, I’ll add my advice and opinion where necessary. Click on the images to enlarge.

CSLB Qualifying Experience Part 2 Slides #9-10

#9 is the basic app review process. Nothing has really changed here.

#10 states they will determine if critical class or any other experience issue exists. There are 8 classifcations that are currently on the critical class list. If you are applying for one of these classifications, it should/could/would trigger the verifiable experience documentation letter.

The critical classes are: A-Gen Engineering, B-Gen Building, C-10 Electrical, C-16 Fire Supression, C-20 HVAC, C-36 Plumbing, C-38 Refrigeration, and C-57 Water Well Drilling.

 CSLB Qualifying Experience Part 2 Slides #11-12

#11 The 90-day rule is unchanged. You’ll have three months to prepare and submit your qualifying experience. But, if you’ve read my blog ahead of time, you should have already prepared your qualifying experience documents.

#12 If the newly submitted documentation (I think they are assuming that no one will submit their documentation when they first submit their license application? This may be because they aren’t telling anyone in the industry that they’ve been changing the rules) it is reviewed to determine if it is sufficient. As before, what is the CSLB’s definition of “sufficient”?

CSLB Qualifying Experience Part 2  Slides #13-14

#13 is suggesting that certifiers of applicants for critical classes are being treated differently. The law only requires that the certifier have first hand knowledge of the experience. The application allows for certifiers to be journeyman, fellow employee, and supervisor. So why does a critical class change that? This confuses me as the law is clear and the choices on the application are simple.

#14 is a big one for me, and should be for you too if you have an employer who doesn’t want you to get your own license. This happens quite often, and the CSLB is putting many applicants employment status at risk. As I stated with #13, the law is clear and the choices on the app are simple. You should be able to use your experience as an employee of a licensee, have your sup/foreman/co worker certify your experience, without putting your job at risk. I think this could border on employee rights violations or civil rights violations.

 CSLB Qualifying Experience Part 2  Slides #15-16

#15 so if the employer does not confirm your experience, and has subesquently fired you for applying for your own license (it happens!), they’ll allow you to submit additional documentation. I have talked to many who have sent them everything they had when first asked for it, so I’m confused as to why the CSLB thinks the applicant will all of a sudden come up with more.

#16 is pretty straight forward, but I do know that they have been accepting, or have accepted in the past, “testimonials” from people who know the applicants experience.

So there is part 2 of the CSLB Qualifying Experience Series. There will be at least one more, if not two, in the series. Stay tuned.Click on the following link to download a PDF of the acceptable CSLB Qualifying Experience list.Acceptable CSLB Qualifying Experience

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Renting Your Contractors License – Yes or No?

Is Renting your contractors license Illegal… Not if you are following the law!

renting your contractors licenseFor years, I have been asked if it’s okay for someone to become a qualifier on a license for a company who couldn’t otherwise obtain a license on their own.

I’ve always answered by quoting the Business and Professions Code that covers this issue. I also stress that they must have first hand knowledge of the work being done under the license they are qualifying. This direct supervision could be in the form of on-site visits, progress reports, photo’s, etc. You, as the qualifier, are responsible to ensure that the work being done meets plans, specs, and is to code. By not doing this, you are putting yourself at great risk of losing your personal assets, and being removed from any other license you may be qualifying. My recommendation is to do on-site visits. If the CSLB were to receive a complaint about a project that you are required to oversee, you better have your i’s dotted and t’s crossed. The only way to effectively do that is to make site visits.

Although the article below is stating that it is illegal to “rent” your license, it also states that you can qualify up to three licenses per year if you show that you own at least 20% ownership in that company. The CSLB shouldn’t ask a question, answer it with a No, then tell you the law says yes. Mixed signals only confuses the issue.

What the CSLB doesn’t do, is require that you prove you actually own 20%. You’re only required to list 20% on the license application. When I complete a clients application, I notify them of the 20% rule, but there is nothing to keep the company and qualifier from having a side letter stating that the qualifier doesn’t own any voting shares. That agreement will also state what the compensation will be to the qualifier. The qualifier is obviously not going to work for free, so compensation will be part of that agreement. I’m not sure why the CSLB has chosen to use the word “rent” other than to attempt to keep qualifiers from doing what the law allows.

In the case cited in the article, the qualifiers who accepted payment but didn’t maintain direct knowledge of the work being done did deserve to be punished. But I feel the CSLB needs to either have more control (lol me suggesting the government should have more control is funny) over qualifiers who qualify more than one license, or they should change the law. Doing nothing but catching the bad guy after the fact is not following their mandate to protect the consumer… Don’t Stop Now…There’s More!

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The CSLB Strikes Again!

The CSLB Strikes Again with its over-stepping of power.

Is it incompetence? Does the right hand not know what the left is doing? Is there information that you/me/us/the applicant aren’t being told? How is it that someone has to put down $300 onto a State agency roulette table and hope that their number DOESN’T come up? What do I mean by that? You pay your $300 application filing fee and you have to hope that you don’t get sucked into the vortex known as the Application Investigation Unit (AIU). Apps seem to be entering this vortex only to be spit out, and then sucked back in again.

Look at the history of two applications below. One of them went thru the AIU blender, got spit out with their blessing and instructions to the tech to refer the applicant to testing, only to suck the app back in to their vortex once again?

cslb strikes again



02/20/2013 NOTICE TO APPEAR FOR EXM 03/11/2013

How is this possible?
Does the CSLB NOT know that they are messing with people’s livelihoods?
Does the CSLB think that hard working people have nothing better to do but sit around and wait for the AIU vortex to get their act together?
All of these things fall under the category of….. WTF!!!!

I, always looking to punish myself by trying to figure out why the CSLB does what it does, think they ought to make the application submittal fee ZERO! Then they can toss all the apps into the AIU vortex and the apps that get approved (after months of waiting) can THEN pay the $300. That way, no one has to put money on the roulette table with a high probability that they’ll lose it.

Here’s another example, an applicant got sucked into the vortex…BUT… he had complete documentation of his experience. All of this experience was hand delivered. The W-2’s, the pay stubs, the tax returns. Was this good enough for the CSLB? Of Course Not!! Are you silly?!?! No, they still sent forms to the employers for them to re-double verify that YES, the tax returns, the W-2’s, the Pay stubs in fact, did not Lie! Imagine it? Legal documents, approved by the IRS, were validated by the employers!

Give me a break!

How about the Enforcement Reps (sitting at their desks, not performing the “comprehensive field investigation” that the law requires) get off their you-know-what’s and go after the non-licensed people who aren’t doing the right thing by trying to obtain their license??

One last note… should the Test be the “litmus test”? I could create an application that would get past any tech in the licensing unit, but I don’t have the skills and experience in the trades to be able to pass the test. So, I say, if you can pass the test, you should be given a license. That’s how it works at the DMV, isn’t it? lol

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