Contractors in the state of California have a lot of challenges on their plates. They have to ensure that their business operates under ever-changing state laws and local codes, and they have to successfully work through challenges with each and every client to keep their reputations in good standing.
Unfortunately, all it takes to put a contractor’s license and reputation in jeopardy is a single client complaint. Not only can this bar the contractor from practicing your profession, but it can bar their reputation and make it hard to make a living. If you are a contractor facing a client complaint, one of the best things you can do is consult with a professional license defense lawyer. Below I’ll tell you more about navigating a complaint and when a lawyer may be able to help.
CSLB and Client Complaints
As a contractor, you are probably very familiar with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), and in particular, with how seriously they take every complaint they receive. However, it’s important to note that while the CSLB will investigate most complaints, some situations are more likely than others to jeopardize your license and career. In addition, more serious investigations will be dealt with sooner than those that are less urgent, so if your issue is minor, it may take time.
If your situation is minor, the CSLB might require you to try to work out the issue with your client by working with a mediator or arbitrator who can help you come to an agreement about the dispute. If you resolve the issue, your license will remain unaffected. If you cannot resolve it, an enforcement representative (ER) will be assigned to investigate. During this process, the ER will conduct interviews, gather information, and investigate whether there is evidence of a violation. If there is, your license could be suspended or revoked.
ERs are assigned immediately in more severe cases. An example of those cases is when a client alleges that you severely jeopardized public health or public safety by deliberately ignoring safety protocol. Other times a case is deemed serious if you violate a customer contract, divert funds, or fail to pay subcontractors. If you have also acted illegally or criminally, you could face serious legal action, including civil or criminal penalties, fines, and jail time. Licenses are often suspended or revoked by the CSLB, and during this period, you cannot practice as a contractor.
When to Seek Legal Help
Whether you are facing a small complaint with a client that cannot be resolved or a major safety complaint and are worried about criminal charges, Scott J Harris may be able to help. He has practiced professional license defense for years and has successfully helped many California contractors regain their licenses and reduce fines, penalties, and jail time for criminal and civil offenses.
The best time to contact a lawyer is right when you hear that a complaint has been made against you. This way, you will be fully prepared to respond in a way that does not harm your case.
If you have questions about a complaint against your contracting business, get in touch with Scott J Harris today for a free consultation at 323-794-0701.