WOODLAND – When Contractor State License Board investigators recently teamed with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit for an undercover sting targeting unlicensed contractors in Woodland, they busted 15 people for violations including contracting without a license, posting false advertisements, and not having workers’ compensation insurance.
“Typically, during these operations investigators will pose as homeowners in need of repairs or improvement to property,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “The goal is to find those who are contracting without a license because they are essentially taking work from licensed contractors who follow the law, and they often put homeowners at risk.”
The 15 suspects arrested during the two-day operation were processed and provided information on how to become a licensed contractor.
According to California law all individuals performing work regulated by the Contractor’s State License Board at $500 or greater must have a valid contractor’s license. If they have any employees working for them they must provide their employees with proper workers’ compensation insurance as well. Homeowners can be held liable for any medical treatment stemming from injuries sustained by the employee of an unlicensed contractor if the injury occurred while working on the homeowner’s property.
Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig emphasized the incredible liability homeowners face when hiring uninsured employers or unlicensed contractors, saying “If the employee was injured or killed while working on the homeowner’s property, the homeowner could be personally liable for all of the medical bills. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover these types of injuries, resulting in the homeowner owing hundreds of thousands of dollars and potentially losing their home and life savings to pay for these bills. It is critical that homeowners ensure the contractors they hire are licensed by the Contractor’s State License Board and have proper workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. We are committed to combating this type of fraud in our community.”