CSLB Application Scrutiny Continues

The CSLB application scrutiny continues to be a hot topic with many people I’ve heard from recently.

CSLB Application Scrutiny ContinuesThis week alone, I’ve heard from five people whose applications are being hit hard by the licensing and enforcement units. These applicants have submitted 100’s of documents to prove their experience only to receive a withdrawal request letter in their mailbox. One applicant received a letter asking for the additional documents AND the withdrawal request letter, thing is, he HAD submitted his additional documents with his application. So much for streamlining the process.

[Read more…]

Please follow and like us:

CSLB Application Seminar

Yesterday, 12/4/13, I attended a CSLB application seminar where they discussed application procedures.

Many license schools and services were invited to attend, or participate online, a seminar that covered application procedures for all classifications including the eight on the critical classifications list.

Some of the information was basic, and since the room was mostly full of people who prepare license applications for a living, some of it was redundant. But that’s ok, they had to start somewhere.

CSLB Application Seminar

There was one common thread to the conversation; the CSLB would “prefer” to receive applications from people who have experience obtained as an employee of a licensed contractor. In a perfect world, that would spectacular! Everyone’s job would be easier, including the applicant. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and therefore, there are plenty of applicants who have gained their experience as “self-employed.” Another tidbit of info that was given was that a handyman is not a journeyman. While that may be true by definition, the CSLB does accept self-employed experience. And if that self-employed experience was obtained by following the law and only doing work that was under the $500 limit for labor and materials, then how could a handyman obtain the necessary experience to allow him/her to obtain a license? So, it seems, that even though they will accept self-employed experience, as allowed by law, they’d “prefer” not to. [Read more…]

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

Experience Verification of a Young Journeyman-Contractor Talk

Below is a question from a young journeyman who has to provide experience verification.

Hey License Guru I have a a few questions. My story been working with my dad since I was 15 doing gen contractor stuff like framing etc part time until I graduated HS then i did it full time. I am 23 now. I did work for his friend a while back who is also a licensed contractor. Thing is I dont have much in the way of paperwork showing i did. My dad just started paying me with pay checks a few months ago. Before that he has been giving me personal checks for the last few years. I checked my app status and it says now SPEC PROJ – EXPERIENCE VERIFICATION

Are they asking for my general experience so far or what I did for my dads friend. He was the one who did my experience verification/qualification form. For whatever reason he did not list his license number instead opting to put himself as an client Saying because I listed as self employed? He guided me through the application process but I had some reservations about it. It didnt feel right but I didnt know enough to really know.

So I ask 1. What does SPEC PROJ – EXPERIENCE VERIFICATION mean?

2. If it is what I think it is what happens if my dads friend the certifer does not have any reciepts/paystubs for me working for him? I think it said letters saying I did will not suffice? What if he puts down he is a licensed contractor and includes his license if he did not included it before. Would they accept that?

3. If I get rejected what happens. How long is the waiting period for me to apply again? will they have records of all the stuff I had previously? Would they catch any contradictions between applications if on the next go round I get put as working with my dad?

4. Any other tips on what to do since Im young I’m assuming they are going to scrutinize me more than they normally would.

experience verification young journeyman

My reply:

[Read more…]

Please follow and like us:

Contractors License Application Waivers

The 4 Possible Contractors License Application Waivers Available in California

contractors license application waiversI wanted to take a moment to discuss the different types of contractors license application waivers. I’m often asked, “Do I get a waiver of the exam since I’ve been working my trade for the last decade?” No. The waiver requirements are very specific. I’ve included the law text below, but I will break it down for you here.

  1. 1.   Listed on License Waiver: With this waiver, you must have been listed on the license you intend to qualify for at least 5 out of the previous 7 years. Note, the license has to have been in good standing for those 5 yrs. If you apply on the 5th year anniversary, but the license was suspended for anything for any amount of time during that 5 year period, you will need to wait until the license has had a minimum of 5 good standing years. I mentioned a moment ago that this waiver is for someone who intends to qualify the license they are listed on. Hence the name of the waiver. You can only use this waiver if you will be replacing the existing qualifier on the license. Now, it is possible to replace the existing qualifier, and then be replaced by that qualifier allowing you to obtain your own license without taking the exams. This is because the law only requires that you hold the classification for at least one day within the last 5 years.
  2. Family Waiver: This waiver will allow you to become the qualifier and take over an existing sole owner license. The licensee must have retired or passed away and you must be an immediate family member. Son/daughter, nephew/niece, spouse, grandson/granddaughter. You’ll have to submit an Application for a new license, requesting the family waiver for the existing license. The business name will remain the same and can not be changed. If the licensee has passed away, you’ll need to provide a death certificate. If the licensee is retiring, he will need to submit a signed letter stating he/she is retiring and allowing the family member to take over the license/business.
  3. .. That’s only 2, There are still 2 more!

Please follow and like us:

Is the CSLB creating a new Underground Economy?

With the recent changes to the Contractors State License Board’s (CSLB) application processes, they may be inadvertently creating a new underground economy.

underground economy

Earlier this year they began asking nearly all applicants, if not all, for the A-General Engineering, B-General Building, C-10 Electrician, and C-36 Plumber classifications for additional proof of their experience. They have been requesting w-2’s, pay stubs, copies of contracts and permits, and/or tax returns.

The dilemma is when a “self-employed” applicant is required to submit these documents, they can’t. That’s because the law does not require them to have contracts if the jobs they are doing are under the $500 labor and materials limit. Nor do these jobs require permits.

 

underground economy

The CSLB has said they will not penalize an applicant if they have been doing work over the $500 limit. But what if the applicant has only done a few, several or handful of jobs over the $500 limit but still doesn’t have enough experience to qualify for the exams? His app is denied.

What is the applicant supposed to do then? He can’t stop working. So he continues work, but now he’s documenting every job with a contract. And since he was told by the CSLB that they won’t penalize him (during the application process) for submitting experience over the $500 limit, he now starts doing projects that legally require a license.

Isn’t that counter-intuitive to what the CSLB is trying to accomplish in the first place? Stop people from illegally contracting without a license?

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the exams to the “litmus” test? If the applicant doesn’t have the field experience (according to the CSLB), but can pass their exams, why wouldn’t the applicant be qualified to be licensed?

 

underground economyIt almost suggests that the CSLB feels the exams are useless or unnecessary when it comes to validating an applicant’s experience. Creating false documents is always a possibility. What assurance does the CSLB have that the documents being submitted are valid? But… what are the chances that the applicant will pass the State exams if he’s falsified his experience and doesn’t have the necessary field experience? I would think slim to none. Unless, that is, if the exams have been so dumbed down, like the DMV driving test, that anybody could pass. We’ll file that under the category of “Things that make you go… Hmmmm.”

The CSLB does have the legal right to request additional experience proof from a minimum of 3% of all applications received, but perhaps if they narrowed down the scope of who they ask the documents from, they won’t be forcing so many more people into an underground economy, or inadvertently creating more “unlicensed contractors.”

My next post will be about creating a “Handyman License” and what benefits it would have to the construction industry as a whole.

 

Please follow and like us: