Recently, the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies coordinated a national sting operation carried out June 15-26, 2015 “to elevate consumer protection and deter illegal construction practices.”  Nine states participated in the effort to combat what is commonly referred to as the underground economy:  Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. 

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors made 9 arrests, issued 5 civil citations and issued 16 warning and orders to comply with Arizona’s advertising laws governing contractors. Two individuals caught up in the sting were on AZ ROC’s “Top Most Wanted List.”  The California Contractors State License Board issued 105 notices to appear and 14 administrative citations in connection with violations of California Contractors’ State License Law.  The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued 8 citations to unlicensed individuals and 7 notices to appear.

The Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) confirmed in its Horizons (August 2015) newsletter that it cited 29 unlicensed contractors for alleged violations of Nevada’s contractor’s licensing law, including for advertising for work requiring a contractor’s license without a license.  It also reported that one licensed contractor will be further investigated.  In Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board issued 13 violations; 12 were issued for to non-registered contractors and 1 was issued for a hiring a non-registered contractor. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Office of Investigations and Enforcement, in conjunction with the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission and the South Carolina Contractors Licensing Board, opened 73 cases for investigation and prepared and either issued or is issuing cease and desist orders.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation opened 24 cases against individuals for offering to perform work requiring a contractor’s license without the required license. The Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensingissued 31 administrative citations; 3 were issued for aiding unlicensed practices, 6 were issued for failure to supervise and 22 were issued for unauthorized practices. And, last but certainly not least, in Washington, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries Construction Compliance Inspectors visited 257 job sites and checked 547 contractors, electricians and plumbers for compliance the Washington’s licensing requirements.  It also reviewed 14 electronic advertisements.  It issued 6 infractions for unregistered contracting, 13  infractions for plumber certification violations and 1 for a factory assembled structures violation.  A total of 68 referrals were also made; 1 for an electrical licensing violation, 44 for collections for outstanding debt owed to the Department, 23 for worker compensation violations.  22 violations were issued for advertising while unregistered or for other advertising violations.