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California County Cracks Down on Cheating Contractors

Agents of the government of northern California’s Butte County have taken steps to deter contractors working in the swimming pool and roofing industries from cheating the workers’ compensation system and to level the playing field for those who abide by the law.  Pool permits will now have to include proof of workers’ compensation coverage for all who are to work on the projects, and the California State License Board (CSLB) will now be notified when anyone claims exemption from workers’ compensation coverage in all reroofing permits, which may result in more site visits by CSLB to see if the exemption claims are legitimate.

According to the news distribution website PR Newswire (registration required), the California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC) praises Butte County for their efforts and encourages other local governments to follow their example.  CALPASC Chief Executive Officer Brad Diede pointed out that builders who opt for the lowest bid do not always save money in the long run.  Diede stated:

"I hear numerous stories from legitimate contractors who have been asked to repair the shoddy work of unqualified contractors.  This often results in the owner or builder paying twice as much or more for a job that could have been done right in the first place.  Owners and builders that try to cut corners by hiring the lowest-bid contractors, without researching their legitimacy, are just asking for trouble."

PR Newswire also heard from Charlie Gardemeyer, CEO of Gardemeyer Finish Carpentry, who said:

"I work throughout California and run my business lawfully and by the book without sacrificing quality.  Contractors who intentionally avoid paying into the state's workers' compensation system are skirting the law and shifting the costs to those of us who abide by the law.  With the decreased construction work that exists in this economy, it is only right that legitimate contractors get the work.  Otherwise the cheaters will rule the day, and employee safety and quality craftsmanship will suffer."

CALPASC is a non-profit trade association
of specialty contractors, related suppliers, and affiliate members who have united to work with state agencies in an effort to enforce California construction laws and regulations so that unscrupulous violators in the construction industry are held accountable.

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