Winter 2014

News from Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman Newsletter
Winter 2014

We hope that you enjoy this edition of our Newsletter.
Remember, if there is anything that you would like to see in the future, please let us know.
The Staff At
Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman


December 17, 2014

Cindi Christenson Named Contractors State License Board Registrar of Contractors

CSLB Board announces selection to replace retiring Registrar Stephen P. Sands

SACRAMENTO - California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) Board Chairman David Dias today announced the selection of CSLB Chief Deputy Registrar Cindi A. Christenson to serve as the board's new Registrar of Contractors, effective January 1, 2015, following a nationwide executive search.

"We are pleased and confident with our decision to promote Cindi Christenson who, as a 33-year career state executive, has successfully demonstrated her fiscal, policy, regulation, legislative, and operational management abilities," added Dias. "She also will have the distinction of serving as CSLB's first female Registrar of Contractors, among the known 15 executives who have served in this position since 1929."

Ms. Christenson has served as second in command for CSLB's more than 400 employees and eight consumer protection offices, with direct oversight of the board's $60 million budget, operating policies and procedures, and executive team since 2009.

Before joining CSLB, Ms. Christenson was the executive officer for the California Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors from 1996 to 2009 and, from 1988 to 1996, was that organization's senior engineering registrar. She also worked with the state Department of Water Resources as an associate mechanical engineer from 1981 to 1988.

Ms. Christenson received her juris doctorate from the Lincoln Law School of Sacramento in 2003, and is a licensed mechanical engineer after earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She and her husband, Michael, are residents of El Dorado Hills, CA.


An engineer dies and goes to hell. However, he is very unhappy with the level of comfort. So he begins designing and building improvements.

There was soon air conditioning, flushing toilets and escalators. The engineer was very popular.

One day God calls Satan. "So, how's it going down there in hell?" he sneers.

Satan happily replies, "Things are going great! We've got air conditioning, flushing toilets and escalators! There is no telling what this engineer will up with next!"

"What??? You've got an engineer? That's a mistake -- he should never have gotten down there! Send him up here!" God bellows.

"No way. I like having an engineer on staff. I'm keeping him!" Satan barks.

God calmly replies, "Send him back up here or I'll sue."

Satan laughs and answers, "Yeah, right. And just where are you going to get a lawyer?"

The Contractors' License Law, as it is known, includes a number of provisions pertaining to contractors who have been disciplined. Once a contractor's license has been suspended or revoked, that contractor cannot act as a qualifier of another company without the Board's approval and the posting of a disciplinary bond. Those same persons are also barred from being in any type of managerial position of another contractor. It is grounds for discipline for a contractor to employ a revoked contractor in any role other than what it defines as a "bona fide non-supervising employee." A revoked contractor can always do non-supervisory roles, or in many cases, be registered as a salesperson.


Many contractors who are ultimately revoked go to work for other contractors in non-management roles, rehabilitate themselves and become contractors again. But, there are others, who form a somewhat underground economy, where they buy existing contracting businesses and work behind the scenes; in some cases, these persons form new companies and hire people to act as their qualifiers. This activity certainly is a violation of the License Law. But, about two years ago the Contractors' Board and a very aggressive district attorney began to criminally prosecute several individuals, including sales representatives, qualifiers on licenses, and a revoked contractor who was alleged to have acquired four separate licensed entities, alleging a conspiracy to allow an unlicensed person to act as a contractor.


The criminal action is something that we had never heard of being undertaken before. While certainly any qualifier who rented out their qualifying experience, or allowed a person who is not authorized to work to act in a managerial role, would be subject to discipline. But, it is doubtful that it ever crossed their mind that they could be subject to felony prosecution for their actions. The CSLB is continuing to take a very aggressive stance on this type of behavior.


For this reason, anyone who is considering allowing someone to "borrow" their license, or is considering acting as the qualifier for an entity that they are not going to personally be involved in, should strongly reevaluate that decision.



10. Hey! There's a gift!


9. Well, well, well ...


8. Boy, if I had not recently shot up 4 sizes that would've fit.


7. This is perfect for wearing around the basement.


6. Gosh. I hope this never catches fire! It is fire season though. There are lots of unexplained fires.


5. If the dog buries it, I'll be furious!


4. I love it -- but I fear the jealousy it will inspire.


3. Sadly, tomorrow I enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.


2. To think -- I got this the year I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.

And the Number One Thing to say about a Christmas gift you don't like:


1. "I really don't deserve this."


Beginning July 1, 2015, paid sick leave is the law. The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522), requires that all employers provide paid sick leave to any employee who has worked in California for thirty (30) days within a year from the commencement of employment (this also means that even out-of-state employees that work in California for at least thirty (30) days within a calendar year are covered by this law). Compensation is to be at the same wage as the employee normally earns during regular work hours. Both full time and part time employees are eligible.


Employees will accrue paid sick days at no less than one (1) hour per every thirty (30) hours worked. Employees will be allowed to use their accrued paid sick days beginning on the ninetieth (90th) day of employment. Employers can limit an employee's use of paid sick days to 24 hours or three (3) days in each year. An employer is under no obligation to allow an employee's total accrual of paid sick leave to exceed 48 hours or six (6) days.


The accrued paid sick days can carry over to the following year. If the employer grants the full amount of leave, 24 hours or three (3) days, at the beginning of each year, then no accrual or carryover of hours are required. An employer will not be required to provide additional paid sick days if the paid leave policy satisfies the accrual, carry over and use requirements or provides at least 24 hours or three (3) days of paid sick leave each year (which is the minimum under this new law).


Employers are not required to provide an employee compensation for accrued, unused paid sick days upon termination, resignation, retirement or other employment separation scenarios. However, if an employee is rehired within one year from the date of separation, the previously accrued and unused paid sick days shall be reinstated.


Written notice that sets forth the amount of paid sick leave available must be provided on either the employee's itemized wage statement or a separate writing provided on the designated pay date with the employee's payment of wages. Obviously, this creates additional record keeping. Indeed, employers will also be required to maintain at least three (3) years of records documenting the hours worked and paid sick days accrued and used by an employee. If the records are not well maintained, it is possible that an employee will be given the maximum number of hours accruable in any dispute.


Each employer will be responsible for displaying a poster in a conspicuous place containing: (1) that the employee is entitled to accrue, request, and use paid sick days; (2) the amount of sick days provided for; (3) terms of use of paid sick days; (4) that retaliation or discrimination against an employee is prohibited, etc.


An employer will not be allowed to deny an employee the right to use accrued sick days, discharge, threaten to discharge, demote, suspend, or in any manner discriminate against an employee for using the accrued sick days. If paid sick days are unlawfully withheld, the dollar amount of paid sick days withheld from the employee will be multiplied by three (not to exceed $4,000) and included in the administration penalty. There are other penalties for violations or lack of compliance with this law, not to mention the possibility of the Labor Commissioner or the Attorney General bringing a civil action against the violating employer.


The only exemptions to this law are for employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement, providers of in-home supportive services, and individuals employed by an air carrier as a flight deck or cabin crew member, as indicated in Labor Code section 245.5.


As an employer, it would also be prudent to revise your new hire packets and employee manuals to include the paid sick leave policy. Develop your paid sick leave policy and make sure it complies with the law. If you do not limit the sick days to 24 hours or three (3) days per year (which is the minimum) or another amount, you could end up with accrual at 1 hour per thirty (30) hours worked which comes out to more than eight (8) days per year.


To read the new law in its entirety, visit and view the Bill AB 1522 and see the additions made to the Labor Code. Remember, this law becomes effective July 1, 2015. Take advantage of this time to have everything in order with respect to paid sick leave.

Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman
provides this information as a service to its friends and clients. This Newsletter is of a general nature and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. This Newsletter does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the reader. Since laws are ever changing, please contact an attorney before using any of the information contained within this Newsletter.
Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman
P.O. Box 15458, North Hollywood, California 91606
(818) 760-2000; (818) 760-3908 (fax)
In This Issue
Happy Holidays!
New CSLB Registrar!
Crackdown on Revoked Contractors
Top Ten...HaHa
California Paid Sick Leave

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