June 5 - 6, 2014

CSLB Board Meeting Highlights 6/5/14 & 6/6/14

We hope that you enjoy the CSLB Board Meeting Highlights of the June 5 & 6, 2014, Board Meeting in San Diego. For a downloadable copy in Adobe PDF please click here and save to your hard drive.

Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman


JUNE 5 & 6, 2014
Kenneth S. Grossbart
Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

The Contractors' State License Board held a Board Meeting in Newport Beach on May 5 &6, 2014.

Board Members Present:

Chair, Joan Hancock; Vice Chair, David Dias; Secretary, Ed Lang; Pastor Herrera Jr.; Robert Lamb; Paul Schifino; Nancy Springer; Augustin Beltran; Linda Clifford; and John O'Rourke.

Board Members Absent:

Frank Schetter; Kevin Albanese; and Bruce Rust.


The Board honored Don Kass for his 30 year career with the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office supervising consumer protection. He has been a long term friend of the CSLB. His department has been prosecutor for 100% off all cases referred to them by the CSLB.





The Intake / Mediation Centers financial settlement amount for fiscal year 2013-2014 was $7,363,114.13.



The Investigative Centers Financial settlement amount for fiscal year 2013-2014 was $2,967,147.38.



The determined manageable level of pending complaints for all current CSLB Enforcement staff is 3,045. April 2014, saw a pending caseload of 2,716.


It is anticipated that the caseloads will rise with time and possibly exceed current manageable levels which will increase the length of the investigation process for consumers.


The following Enforcement Objectives regarding complaint-handling and the staff's success are as follows:

  • Maintain ERI production of closing 10 complaints per month - ERs are closing an average of 10.
  • Increase the percentage of licensee complaints settled from 30% to 41% are being settled.
  • Accomplish IMC licensee complaint closure to 70% -- the average is currently 69%.
  • Reduce 270-day-old complaints to 100 or less - There are only 63 aged cases.


July of 2013 through April of 2014 saw over 1,900 citations issued. There were almost 300 Mandatory Settlement Conferences with civil penalties of almost $1,000,000 collected. The legal savings being over $1,000,000.


With almost 300 arbitrations and the restitution paid, the public saved almost $1,000,000.



SWIFT conducted many undercover sweep and sting operations as well as developed new strategies and partnerships to combat the underground economy. To date there have been 288 sting and sweep days with over 1200 legal actions, which include citations and written Notices to Appear in criminal court.



May 12-16, 2014, saw the first CSLB Investigation Academy held in Norwalk. The Enforcement Division developed this five-day Academy in conjunction with the Attorney General's Office.



Under the CSLB's Strategic Plan, the Enforcement Division has an ongoing commitment to create a training curriculum for staff that includes basic enforcement procedures, a mentoring program, and specialized training. Following is a list of training that has been conducted to date:

  • Peace Officer Workshop (May 2014)
  • Module 4: Code Training, Phone Tactics & Time Management (Ongoing)
  • Professional Assistants Academy II (March 2014)
  • Successful Promotional Interviewing Training (March 2014)
  • Supervisors Training (January 2014)
  • Elder Abuse Training with San Diego County DDA (August 2013)
  • DCA's Division of Investigation Peace Officer Training (June 2013)
  • SOLID Writing Workshop (May 2013)
  • Criminal Investigation Meeting (March 2013)
  • CSLB's Penal Code 832 Equivalent Course (January/February 2013)
  • Professional Assistants Academy (December 2012)
  • Enforcement Supervisor I and II Team-Building Workshop (October 2012)
  • DCA's Enforcement Academy (October/November 2012)
  • Improving Employee Performance and Accountability (September/October 2012)
  • Elder Abuse Training (September 2012)
  • Module 3: Effective Report Writing (Third Quarter 2012)
  • Basic National Certified Investigator/Inspector Training (NCIT) (June 2012)
  • Supervisor Training (June 2012)
  • Advanced Negotiation (April 2012)
  • Improving Enforcement Skills (April 2012)
  • Northern California Fraud Investigators Association (March 2012)
  • Security Assessments for Enforcement Staff (February 2012)
  • Bankruptcy Case Law & Impact on Enforcement (February 2012)
  • Module 2: Interview Techniques (January-June 2012)
  • Module 1: Basic Investigative Techniques (January-June 2012)




The new Ambassador Program was launched May 7, 2014 at the Sheet Metal Workers' Local No. 104 Union Hall in San Jose. This program is a partnership with the California Energy Commission. The purpose was to bring together area HVAC contractors and building department officials to discuss permit requirements and the importance of obtaining workers' compensation insurance for employees. This program is part of the 2012-14 Strategic Plan, in order to legitimatize HVAC licensees to build successful businesses as well as prepare for the new Title 24 requirements that become effective July 1, 2014.



There was a workshop for CSLB peace officers on May 16, 2014, lead by the CSLB's Chief of Enforcement, the Riverside County Deputy District Attorney and the Department of Insurance Captain. At this workshop, the peace officers learned effective investigation strategies for predatory service and repair complaints in cases where contractors are engaged in complex criminal behavior. Various topics were discussed, including fraud, elder abuse, obtaining evidence by search warrant, and the benefit of undercover operations to minimize the need for elderly victims to testify in criminal proceedings.



The Public Affairs Office (PAO) is responsible for media, industry, licensee, and consumer relations and outreach.



The Public Affairs Office is staffed with six full-time positions and one part-time Student Assistant. There are currently two vacancies for a Graphic Designer and Student Assistant.




Website Redesign Project

The Public Affairs Office and the Information Technology staff are working together to design and develop an entirely new CSLB website.


Application Instructional Video

The tutorial video that explains how to correctly fill out a CSLB license application was launched August 28, 2012. This video can be viewed in its entirety or in individual sections. Even with the video being viewed about 1,500 times a month, the application rejection rate bounces up and down.





The CSLB Twitter account has 1,506 followers. There have been 550 tweets posted.



The CSLB Facebook account has 1,636 followers.



The CSLB YouTube channel had over 9,600 visitors from April 8, 2014, through May 23, 2014; about 214 visits daily. 63% of these visitors came from the CSLB website.




Santa Clara County HVAC Conference

The Public Affairs Office staff supported the Santa Clara County HVAC Conference on May 7, 2014. The presentation is available to view on the CSLB YouTube page.



People can still subscribe to four email alerts from the CSLB. The alerts are for the California License Contractor newsletter, News Releases/Consumer Alerts, Industry Bulletins, and Public Meeting Notices/Agendas.


There are a total of 22,656 subscriptions. There is also the database that consists of email addresses that contractors voluntarily submit on their license applications. This list has 78,434 active email addresses. This brings the total combined email database to 101,090.




Media Calls

There were more than three dozen media inquiries and interviews that the Public Affairs Office responded to from April 8, 2014 through May 23, 2014.


News Releases

Between April 2, 2014 and May 23, 2014, there were five news releases distributed by the Public Affairs Office.


News Media Events

The third "Border Blitz" occurred with the help of the Public Affairs Office, the Nevada State Contractors Board, and the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office. At this blitz, 11 non-licensed contractors were cited on the California side.




Industry Bulletins

Between April 2, 2014, and May 23, 2014, the Public Affairs Office distributed two industry bulletins.




Completed CSLB Publications

  • June 2014 Board Meeting Packet

CSLB Publications in Production

  • Contractor/Applicant Guide (booklet)
  • Consumer Guide (booklet)
  • Mechanics Lien (Spanish)

CSLB Publications in Development

  • Sunset Review Report
  • Contractor Outreach Materials
    • Checklist of Consumer Questions During Bid
    • Why You Should Hire a State-Licensed Contractor
    • Building Permit Information
    • Contractor Insurance and Bond Information
    • Contractor Reference form
  • Description of Classifications Booklet (Spanish)

CSLB Forms / Letters

The Public Affairs Office is working with other CSLB divisions to review and update all forms and letters, and to ensure that all distributed materials have received proper legal review and have been assigned a tracking number.




Senior Scam Stopper Seminars

The first quarter of 2014 saw 10 Senior Scam Stopper seminars. From April 25, 2014, through October 24, 2014, there are 34 Senior Scam Stopper seminars scheduled.




SB 315 is a bill that will be amended to contain the legislative proposals sponsored by the CSLB. The Board voted to support the bill. The proposals is as listed below:


Business and Professions Code section 7011.4(b) would be modified to give CSLB Enforcement Representatives, as Joint Enforcement Strike Force members, the access to all places of labor exhibiting underground economy behavior when the Division of Labor Standard Enforcement is present during the inspection and to continue that independently without the DLSE present.


Business and Professions Code section 7027.2 would be amended to limit advertisements placed by unlicensed contractors.


Business and Professions Code section 7110.5 would be amended regarding Labor Code violations giving the Registrar 180 days to initiate disciplinary action after receiving the Labor Commissioner's finding of a willful or deliberate violation of the Labor Code by a licensee, rather than the current 30 days.




AB 1702

Existing law established criteria to qualify for a license and authorizes denial of a license if the applicant has been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the profession.


This bill provides that an applicant who satisfied the requirements to obtain a license while incarcerated, and that applies upon release, that is otherwise eligible for a license, shall not be subject to a delay in his or her application or a denial solely based on the prior incarceration. It also specifies that this charge does not apply to substantially related convictions and does not apply to a petition for reinstatement of a license.


The fiscal impact that this bill would have if enacted is unclear. The CSLB staff recommends the CSLB to watch this bill, to see if it is amended to have a more significant impact on the CSLB.


AB 2165

Existing law requires boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs to establish eligibility and application requirements, including examinations, to license, certify, or register each applicant who successfully satisfies applicable requirements.


This bill requires every board to complete the application review process within 45 days and issues the applicant a license if he/she has satisfied all of the applicable licensing requirements; and offer a required licensing exam at least six times per year.


The fiscal impact to the CSLB if this bill were enacted is pending. Prior to the meeting, the CSLB staff recommended opposing this bill because there is no problem identified with CSLB applications that this bill would solve. The CSLB did not believe the bill would provide any additional benefit. However, at the meeting they decided to watch this bill rather than oppose.


AB 2396

Existing law authorizes a board within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to deny, suspend, or revoke a license on various grounds, including, but not limited to, conviction of a crime if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or professions for which the license was issued. It also permits a defendant to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty in any case in which a defendant has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation, or has been discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation, or has been convicted of a misdemeanor and not granted probation and has fully complied with and performed the sentence of the court, or has been sentenced to a county jail for a felony, or in any other case in which a court, in its discretion and the interests of justice, determines that a defendant should be granted this or other specified relief.


This bill would provide that a person may not be denied licensure based solely on a criminal conviction that has been dismissed pursuant to Penal Code sections 1203.4, 1203.4a, or 1203.41. (These sections of law set forth conditions under which certain convictions may be expunged or otherwise set aside by the court, as described above).


The fiscal impact to the CSLB if this bill was enacted is pending. The CSLB staff recommends opposing the bill. This bill could result in a risk to consumers by prohibiting the denial of licensure based on convictions that have been expunged/dismissed under the Penal Code. For such cases, evidence of rehabilitation should still be considered as a condition that is prerequisite to the granting of a contractor license. This is especially true given the fiduciary relationship that is inherent between CSLB's licensees and consumers, not to mention the level of trust that consumers attribute to a contractor based upon a state-sanctioned licensing process.


AB 1467

As it pertains to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), this bill further revises Business and Professions Code section (BPC) 7011.4, to clearly provide that all CSLB enforcement representatives may issue a written notice to appear (NTA).


There will be no significant impact to the CSLB if this bill is enacted. The CSLB staff recommends that the CSLB support this bill. This legislation will allow CSLB to implement the expanded NTA authority without the need to modify its organizational structure, and will benefit consumers and licensees by providing an opportunity to refer more criminal complaints to prosecutors through NTA's.


This will enhance CSLB's enforcement efforts by allowing investigators in CSLB Investigative Centers to issue NTA's and Stop Orders so that they can partner with the California Department of Insurance and the Premium Insurance Fraud Task Force to combat unlicensed and uninsured practice.





Fiscal year 2012-2013 saw a continued decline in the number of applications the CSLB received because of the economic recession and housing downturn. However, so far in fiscal year 2013-2014, the number of applications received has gone up from the prior year.



The CSLB became authorized to issue licenses to LLC's effective January 1, 2012. LLC's require an additional bond (over the $12,500 contractor bond) of $100,000 for the benefit of workers relative to payment of wages and fringe benefits in order to protect those workers since there is no case law dealing with LLC's. LLC's are also required to have at least $1 million in liability insurance when there are five or fewer persons listed as personnel and another $100,000 required for each listed personnel over five, but not to exceed $5 million.


As of April 30, 2014, 1,855 LLC applications have been received with 580 LLC licenses issued. Inconsistencies between the contractor's application and the records with the Secretary of State are the main reasons why the denied applications were rejected.



January 1, 2012, started the Workers' Compensation Re-certification process. Now, an active contractor with a current exemption for workers' compensation insurance with the CSLB needs to provide a current and valid Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance or a Certificate of Self-Insurance at the time of license renewal.



The Criminal Background Unit has been conducting fingerprinting for all applicants for a CSLB license, each officer, partner, owner and responsible managing employee as well as home improvement salespersons since January 1, 2005. Since inception, the fingerprint program has received almost 294,500 transmittals from the Department of Justice with more than 52,300 of those containing criminal conviction records. As of April 30, 2014, 1,191 of those applications have been denied, 1,469 have been issued probationary licenses, and 602 of the denied applicants appealed their denials.




LIC Workload

The Licensing Information Center or call center continues to exceed Board goals with average wait times of 1:23 minutes and 98% off all calls answered with a total of 14,983 calls for April 2014. This is attributed to staffing levels and training.


Staffing Update

Two new hires have been made to fill all vacancies and there are also two part-time retired annuitants for peak call hours.


Increased Training

The License Information Center provides timely, efficient, and professional services to its customers and this is accomplished by new employees spending a large amount of time getting one-on-one training with seasoned staff and supervisors.



The Judgment Unit staff processes all outstanding liabilities, judgments, and payment of claims reported to the CSLB as well as process all documentation and correspondence related to resolving these issues.


Once the CSLB receives timely notification of an outstanding liability, judgment, or payment of claim, they send a letter to the licensee. This letter explains the licensee's options and a time frame for compliance - 90 days for judgments and payment of claims and 60 days for outstanding liabilities. If the licensee does not comply within the allowed time frame, the license is suspended and a letter of suspension is sent to the contractor. If the contractor complies at a later time, a reinstatement letter will be sent at that time.





The CSLB has 45 examinations at eight computer-based testing centers that are the responsibility of the Examination Administration Unit. Most of the testing centers have two full-time test monitors and part-time proctors are used to fill in when test monitors are not at work. When test monitors are not monitoring examination they spend their time responding to all of the testing-related interactive voice response calls received by the CSLB.


Testing Center Status

The eight testing centers are located in Sacramento; Oakland; San Jose; Fresno; Oxnard; Norwalk; San Bernardino; and San Diego. CSLB relocated the Oakland testing center to Berkeley.


Examination Administration Staffing

There is one Office Technician vacancy at the San Jose testing center.


Examination Administration Projects

An analyst/editor has been auditing one testing center each month and continues to write the Examination Development Unit Procedure Manual.




The Examination Development Unit is responsible for making sure that the 45 examinations of the CSLB are written, maintained, and updated in accordance with the testing standards, guidelines, and CSLB regulations.


Occupational Analysis and Examination Development Workload

There are two phases required to maintain a licensure examination. Occupational analysis, which determines what information is relevant to each contractor classification. Examination development involves reviewing and revising the existing test questions, writing new test questions, and determining the passing score for examinations from that point forward. These cycles must be completed every five to seven years for each examination.


Three new examinations were released in April 2014, for C-5 Framing and Rough Carpentry, C-45 Signs, and C-50 Reinforcing Steel.


Current examinations that are in progress with occupational analyses are the A General Engineering, C-11 Elevator, C-15 Flooring and Floor Covering, C-36 Plumbing, and C-51 Structural Steel. New examinations are also in progress for B General Building, C-10 Electrical, C-13 Fencing, C-28 Lock and Security Equipment, C-35 Lathing and Plastering, and C-60 Welding.


Civil Service Examinations

The Examination Development Unit also works on civil service classification examinations that are used at the CSLB.


Examination Development Unit Staffing

There is a Personnel Selection Consultant II position that is in the process of being filled. A Test Validation and Development Specialist II position is newly vacant and examinations for that are scheduled for June 4, 2014. There is also a Student Assistant (Engineering and Architectural Sciences) position that is newly vacant and advertising is being done for that.


Ongoing Consumer Satisfaction Survey

There is an ongoing survey of consumers whose complaint cases have been closed which is designed to assess overall satisfaction with the Enforcement Division's handling of complaints.








The Department of General Services is working on plans to increase the space at San Bernardino.


The Department of General Services is in negotiation to renew the lease for five additional years, extending the lease to July 2020 at the West Covina location.


They are in the process of renewing the lease at the Norwalk location. The changes being negotiated include new cards readers, video monitoring system, carpet and paint.


Contracts / Procurement

  • Contracts in Progress
    • Alarm contract for Modesto office
    • Board meeting rental room
    • CHP for standby security
    • Shredding contract for new Berkeley office
    • Six new copiers with maintenance agreements
    • Transcription contract for Enforcement division
    • West Publishing for electronic library services
  • Procurement in Progress
    • Ansul Inergen Fire Suppression System
    • License card holders
    • Perforated member ID cards
  • Executed Contracts/Procurement
    • Data card printer
    • ID cards
    • Media equipment for Public Affairs Office
    • Six AED defibrillators for various field offices
    • Polo shirts with CSLB logo to identify Enforcement staff in field


Training courses offered to all Department of Consumer Affairs staff has been increased in order to continuously develop knowledge and skills.


Property and Asset Management

The developmental stage of purchasing a scanning system that will meet the business needs of the Warehouse, Business Services and IT staff has begun.



A vehicle acquisition plan has been submitted to DGS requesting approval to replace two vehicles in the Enforcement Division. When approved, the vehicles will be replaced with Ford Fusion Hybrids.




Position Changes

There have been four transfers with the CSLB and five transfers from other state departments as well as three new hires since April 7, 2014.


Vacant Positions

As of May 13, 2014, there were 41 vacant positions at the CSLB.





CSLB continues to prepare for the Phase Three release by working on data and conversion cleanup, system documentation, and conducting meetings with other CSLB staff to discuss specific BreEZe requirements.


Once all phases are complete, BreEZe will be the largest enterprise licensing and enforcement solution in the world.


IT Service Desk

The CSLB's IT Service Desk Technical staff resolves IT issues for the Board. CSLB employees who need assistance generate a ticket via phone of the CSLB intranet. Incoming tickets are assigned within 15 minutes. Level-1 tickets are resolved in under 30 minutes and Level-2 tickets are resolved in approximately 1 hour. There were a total of 1,107 tickets from February to April of 2014.


Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System

The IVR is an interactive, self-directed telephone system that is a valuable source of information for consumers, contractors, and others. From February 2014 through April 2014, IVR handled a total of 121,826 calls, averaging 40,609 calls a month. This system is available 24 hours a day.


Enterprise IT Security - Firewall Hits

The IT staff maintains high security on all of its information technology systems and applications. The CSLB is proactively blocking/denying any unauthorized attempts from all sources including foreign countries. No authorized attempts have been successful.




Fiscal Year 2013-14 CSLB Budget and Expenditures

The CSLB spent or encumbered $42.6 million through March 31, 2014. That is roughly 70% of its fiscal year 2013-14 budget.



The CSLB received over $43 million in revenue through March 31, 2014. That was a 2.2% increase from the prior year.


CSLB Fund Condition

The Contractors' License Fund reserve for fiscal year 2013-14 is over $28 million, which gives approximately a six month reserve.


Construction Management Education Account (CMEA) Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget and Expenditures

The Construction Management Education Account expended roughly $6,000 in pro rata charges and awarded $91,000 in grant awards through March 31, 2014.


CMEA Fund Condition

The fiscal year reserve was $165,000, for approximately 15 months reserve.




The Board voted on the 2014-15 Strategic Plan and approved it.


Significant Accomplishments of 2013-2014



  • Established a Veterans Application Assistance Program for those transitioning from military service to civilian employment
  • Enabled Renewal/Registration Fee Waiver for Active Military Personnel
  • Increased by 17% the number of calls answered by Licensing Information Center staff, with more than 146,000 calls answered in calendar year 2013
  • Reduced average wait time for callers to Licensing Information Center from seven minutes to 2:13
  • Conducted eight occupational analyses and updated eight license exams in calendar year
  • Scheduled more than 30,000 license exams at CSLB's eight test centers around California


  • Expanded Public Works Unit from two to four investigators
  • Added nine Peace Officer positions (for a total of 12)
  • Lowered consumer complaint cases aged over 270 days to a record average low of 84
  • Conducted 84 stings during calendar year 2013, resulting in 773 individuals being issued Notices to Appear in superior court for charges including contracting without a license
  • Established partnerships with Employment Development Department, Franchise Tax Board, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and Division of Occupational Safety and Health which resulted in the suspension of 553 licenses for outstanding liabilities totaling more than $37 million. The suspension program resulted in payment of more than $15 million to allied state agencies
  • Arbitration program rendered 288 awards in calendar year 2013, with over $1.2 in restitution ordered for financially injured persons. Forty-five licenses were revoked for failure to comply with an arbitration award
  • Appointment of CSLB's first Deputy Chief of Enforcement


  • Sponsored Senate Bill 261, which now allows the CSLB to take administrative action for certain violations related to misuse of a contractor's license
  • Sponsored Senate Bill 262, which provides that failure of a qualifying individual to exercise direct supervision and control of construction operations constitutes grounds for disciplinary action, punishable as a misdemeanor or imprisonment in a county jail, by a fine of $3,000-$5,000, or both. The authority provided by this new law enhances consumer protection and ensures that licensees are fulfilling their supervision requirements

Public Affairs

  • Organized and conducted 76 Senior Scam Stopper seminars during calendar year 2013, with an average attendance of 59. The 300th seminar was held January 2014
  • Redesigned and worked with Information Technology division to launch new employee-only Intranet site

Information Technology / Administration

  • Began disclosing partner agencies' disciplinary actions on CSLB's website
  • Implemented new storage and backup solutions for all critical CSLB data, including redundant system in Fresno to prevent loss of critical information in a disaster
  • Successfully moved Test Center from Oakland to Berkeley
  • Received a prestigious state award for its emphasis on buying from small businesses and disabled veteran enterprises

Goals and Objectives

The CSLB has identified the following objectives to help meet its goals:


Goal 1: Licensing and Testing

Ensure that all applicants and licensees are qualified to provide construction services.


Goal 2: Enforcement

Prevent, reduce or eliminate unlicensed activity and unprofessional conduct that pose a threat to public health, safety, and welfare.


Goal 3: Public Affairs

Educate consumers about how to make informed choices related to construction services, and provide information to licensed contractors so they can improve their technical management and service skills.


Goal 4: Legislation

Ensure that statutes, regulations, policies and procedures strengthen and support CSLB operations.


Goal 5: IT and Administration

Enhance organizational effectiveness, and improve the quality of service in all programs.



The Board shall elect from its members a Chair, a Vice Chair, and a Secretary to hold office for one year until their successors are duly elected and qualified. The terms begin on July 1 after the election at the last Board meeting of the fiscal year.


The new officers are:


Chair, David Dias; Vice Chair, Ed Lang; Secretary, August Beltran.


At the joint sessions with the Nevada Contractors' Board, a few hours were spent discussing a variety of issues affecting the construction industry, including the aging of workers and bringing in younger workers. Both California and Nevada see the light at the end of the tunnel in the upturn of construction.


September 23, 2014 - Monterey

Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

provide this information as a service to its friends & clients and it does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the reader. This document is of a general nature and is not a substitute for legal advice. Since laws change frequently, contact an attorney before using this information.

Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

(818) 760-2000 FAX (818) 760-3908