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					                         The California

                         Contractor
                           News for the Western Regional Master Builders Association

Vol. 33 - No. 4                                 Great rates for 2008!
April, 2008
                           As you probably know, your association, Western Regional Master Builders Association (W.R.M.B.A.), is no
                        longer working with the State Compensation Insurance Fund. We have partnered with Heffernan Insurance Brokers
                        to bring our members a new workers’ compensation insurance program with AMAZING rates.

                          Check out the 2008 base rates comparison below and make sure to get a quote for your company A.S.A.P.!!!
  At a Glance
                           Workers’            New                                     SCIF
                            Comp             Heffernan           Compare               2008                      Class Code Description
                            Class              2008                                    base
 Law Talk: Ability to       Code             base rate*                                rate
 sue and be sued
                             5645              $20.16                vs.             $31.95               Construction- N.O.C.
                             5482              $5.18                 vs.             $8.00                Painting or Decoration- Over $23
                             5474              $11.06                vs.             $17.08               Painting or Decoration- Under $23
                             5606              $1.92                 vs.             $2.96                Construction Executive Supervisor
 Asbestos: What do           5213              $7.71                 vs.             $11.89               Concrete Construction
 you need to know?           5205              $5.30                 vs.             $8.19                Concrete or Cement work
                             5140              $3.87                 vs.             $5.98                Electrical work- Over $27
                             5190              $5.17                 vs.             $7.98                Electrical work- Under $27
 Get back to safety          5183              $7.78                 vs.             $12.03               Plumbing- Over $24
                             5187              $4.40                 vs.             $6.80                Plumbing- Under $24
 basics                      5447              $5.15                 vs.             $7.95                Drywall/ Wallboard Application- Over $25
                             5446              $9.50                 vs.             $14.59               Drywall/ Wallboard Application- Under $25
                             5348              $5.54                 vs.             $8.54                Tile or Stone Work
 Protect your                5028              $7.30                 vs.             $11.31               Masonry- Over $23
 business from the           5027              $10.50                vs.             $16.21               Masonry- Under $23
 dangers of identity      * All 2008 rates are the filed base rates and do not include any individually earned merits or credits. Actual rates may be lower.
 theft
                            Our new workers’ compensation program through Heffernan Insurance Brokers offers a substantial sav-
                            ings over the State Fund rates. To participate in this new program, be sure to get your quote today!!!

                          Call Heffernan Insurance Brokers at: (866) 500-6359 and let them know you are a member of Western Regional
 ... and more           Master Builders Association. If you currently use a broker for your insurance needs, you may have your broker call
                        Tangram Insurance to get the same program and rates, at (800) 676-2213 ext. 662 and speak to Riley Binford.

                                               Don’t miss out on these savings! Call today for a quote!!!


                                                                           HEFFERNAN INSURANCE BROKERS

                                                                               A Member of the Heffernan Group
  Please visit your
     association,                                                                (866) 500-6359
 Western Regional
   Master Builders
     Association,             CSLB reminds do-good contractors they must
 at its new website:          hold a license to work in natural disaster areas
 www.wrmba.com                    he Contractors State License Board (CSLB)                      The CSLB along with other agencies such as the

                          T       reminds contractors that they must hold a valid
                                  California contractor’s license, in the appropriate
                          classification, in order to perform most work on homes
                                                                                              Department of Insurance, local district attorney’s
                                                                                              offices, sheriff’s departments, and the Governor’s Office
                                                                                              of Emergency Services conduct undercover sweeps in
                          and other structures damaged or destroyed in a wildfire,            disaster zones, and check the licenses of contractors
                          flood, mudslide or other natural disaster.                          working or soliciting work in these areas.

                             Some out-of-state contractors and unlicensed                        “Some unlicensed contractors have good intentions
                          California contractors want to help with rebuilding in              and want to help homeowners rebuild.” said CSLB
                          disaster areas. However, it is illegal and punishable as a          Registrar Steve Sands. “But, the reality is, they must be
                          felony to perform contracting work in a declared disas-             tested and licensed by the CSLB to do so legally,”
                          ter area without a California contractor’s license.
                          Punishment may include a fine of up to $10,000 or up to               Anyone who contracts for or bids on a job that totals
                          16 months in state prison.                                          $500 or more (labor and materials) must hold a contrac-
                                                                                                                            Please see DISASTERS, page 4
2 The California Contractor April, 2008




                   LAW TALK
                                     By Sam Abdulaziz
                                    Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman


      The ability to sue and be sued
         ny time an individ-                                     natively, you are in fact the   whether a corporation could        ing in place before you go

A        ual, company, cor-
         poration or other
entity decides that it wants
                                 ‘Standing to sue’
                                 is defined as the
                                 one who has the
                                                                 individual you say you are
                                                                 and that you are doing busi-
                                                                 ness under the fictitious
                                                                                                 defend itself due to lack of
                                                                                                 capacity came before the
                                                                                                 court. The defendant who
                                                                                                                                    to trial, you will be given
                                                                                                                                    the opportunity to bring
                                                                                                                                    your case to the court and
to file a lawsuit against                                        business name that you          was being sued was a               seek the relief that you feel
another individual or com-        right to relief in             have sued under. Failure to        corporation. The plain-         you are entitled to. Even if
pany, etc., the plaintiff must                                   establish this capacity will    tiff found out that the cor-       you don’t have your status
establish that it has the         court. What this               keep you from either prose-     poration had been suspend-         correct, you should always
capacity as well as the right    means is that the               cuting your action or           ed several months previous-        ask for a continuance to
to sue. These are two sepa-                                      defending yourself if you       ly for failure to pay taxes.       give yourself the opportuni-
rate legal concepts.               person who is                 are being sued.                 On the day of trial, the           ty to correct your problems.
   “Standing to sue” is           suing the other                   “Capacity to sue” is         plaintiff brought this fact                 In conclusion, it is
defined as the one who has                                       much different than “stand-     up to the court and upon           best if all of you who are
the right to relief in court.     person in court                ing to sue”. If an individ-     review, the court deter-           involved in litigation check
What this means is that the         has a claim                  ual or business lacks stand-    mined that the corporation         with the Secretary of State,
person who is suing the                                          ing, it more than likely will   had lacked capacity                if you are a corporation,
other person in court has a         against that                 never be able to correct that   because its corporate pow-         and make sure that the sta-
claim against that other           other person.                 lack of standing. However,      ers had been suspended.            tus of your company is in
person. A simple example                                         lack of capacity often times    The attorneys representing         line with both the Franchise
would be where one person                                        can be corrected.               the defendants asked the           Tax Board and the
might be injured as a result                                        Common situations with       court for a continuance of         Secretary of State. For
of an automobile accident,                                       regard to the lack of capac-    the trial to correct its cor-      those of you who do not
but another person attempts      business under a different      ity come up in the area of      porate status and bring it         operate under a fictitious
to sue for those injuries.       name. Corporations are          corporations and fictitious     back in line. The trial court      business name, make sure
This other person clearly        granted authority of specif-    business names.                 denied this request and            that your filing is up-to-
lacks standing to sue            ic corporate powers given       Corporations may have           allowed the plaintiff to           date and that you have filed
because he or she has no         to them by the Secretary of     their corporate powers sus-     obtain the relief that they        the documents that you are
right to that relief in court.   State. Other entities oper-     pended for one reason or        had requested by way of a          required to file.
   The “capacity to sue”,        ate under fictitious business   another and the likely rea-     default judgment. This is
however, is a different con-     names, i.e., Jim Jones doing    son is for failure to pay       basically a judgment
cept. “Capacity” is defined      business as ACME                taxes. If a corporation filed   entered without any defense
as the ability to sue. A         Construction. In order to       a lawsuit, and its corporate    whatsoever.                           Attorney Sam Abdulaziz
minor may not have the           have the capacity in court,     powers have been suspend-          The defendant filed an          of Abdulaziz, Grossbart &
capacity to sue. Some            you must be able to prove       ed, it will be kept from        appeal and upon review the         Rudman has been practic-
business examples of the         to the court that you are in    prosecuting its action or       Appellate Court overruled          ing construction law for 30
capacity issue are corpora-      fact a corporation, or alter-   defending itself.               the lower court stating that       years. He has written a
tions and businesses doing                                           In one case, the issue of   the lower Court abused its         book called “California
                                                                                                   discretion by not allowing       Construction Law” which
                                                                                                   the corporation to be            is updated annually. He
                                                                                                   given an opportunity to          represents numerous con-
                                                                                                   revive itself by bringing        struction trade associations
                                                                                                   the corporate taxes cur-         and contractors. He
                                                                                                   rent. As you can see,            appears at Contractors
                                                                                                   capacity can be, and often       State License Board meet-
                                                                                                   is, corrected. In this set       ings and has argued a num-
                                                                                                   of facts, the corporation        ber of cases before the
                                                                                                   must be given an opportu-        appellate courts, including
                                                                                                   nity to revive itself and if     the California Supreme
                                                                                                   it does so before the mat-       Court dealing with the
                                                                                                   ter has actually gone to         “Pay-If-Paid Clause.”
                                                                                                   trial, the corporation is        Abdulaziz, Grossbart &
                                                                                                   deemed to have revived           Rudman provides this infor-
                                                                                                   itself and thus can pro-         mation as a service to its
                                                                                                   ceed with the prosecution        friends & clients. The doc-
                                                                                                   and/or defense of itself         uments are of a general
                                                                                                   without any penalty.             nature and are intended to
                                                                                                      This same situation           highlight areas of the sub-
                                                                                                   applies for those with fic-      ject matter and should not
                                                                                                   titious business names.          be used as a substitute for
                                                                                                   One of two things gener-         specific legal advice. You
                                                                                                   ally happens in this area.       should seek the aid and
                                                                                                   Either the individual just       advice of a competent
                                                                                                   forgets altogether to file       attorney and/or accountant
                                                                                                   and publish a fictitious         instead of relying on the
                                                                                                   business name statement          presentation and/or docu-
                                                                                                   and operates under the           ments. Sam Abdulaziz can
                                                                                                   name without filing any          be reached at Abdulaziz,
                                                                                                   type of paperwork to             Grossbart & Rudman, P.O.
                                                                                                   establish their entitlement      Box 15458, North
                                                                                                   to that name, or, they for-      Hollywood, CA 91615-
                                                                                                   get to renew their ficti-        5458; (818) 760-2000,
                                                                                                   tious business name. In              Facsimile (818) 760-
                                                                                                   these instances, the busi-       3908; or by E-Mail at
                                                                                                   ness must be given an            info@agrlaw.net . On the
                                                                                                   opportunity to correct           Internet, visit our Website
                                                                                                   itself, i.e., publish and file   at www.agrlaw.net
                                                                                                   a renewed fictitious busi-
                                                                                                   ness name statement. As
                                                                                                   long as you have your fil-
                                                                                                                            April, 2008   The California Contractor 3




                                           SAFETY MATTERS
                                            Get back to safety basics
By Ken J. Helfrich                                                                                                              Company can help your company lay
                                                                                                                                the groundwork and create a plan
           hat makes a safety program                                                                                           with your team that will identify your

W          effective? There is no
           question that the reduction
of your claims frequency through
                                                                                                                                loss sources and also list the steps to
                                                                                                                                control identified exposures.

effective safety management and                                                                                                    Continuous safety improvement is
claims handling provides a competi-                                                                                             the final component of an effective
tive business advantage.                                                                                                        safety program. This is a process-ori-
                                                                                                                                ented approach that emphasizes con-
  The most important component of                                                                                               tributions to long-range and perma-
safety excellence is providing man-                                                                                             nent solutions:
agement leadership and commitment.                                                                                                 Phase 1: Gain management com-
A company’s top leadership team                                                                                                 mitment and involvement (vision and
must demonstrate a strong, genuine,                                                                                             leadership)
continuous, and personal commit-                                                                                                   Phase 2: Establish a baseline
ment to safety. Leaders must:                                                                                                   (snapshot of “as is”)
                                                                                                                                   Phase 3: Set goals (where compa-
   *    Communicate a vision and                                                                                                ny “should be”)
integrate goals for addressing safety                                                                                              Phase 4: Implement strategies
   *    Define roles and responsibili-                                                                                          (close the gap between “as is and
ties                                                                                                                            “should be”)
   *    Require accountability from                                                                                                Phase 5: Review and adjust (reach
all employees                              an important component of an effec-          *    Constant communication             for where company “could be”)
   *    Allocate resources to support      tive safety program, including the use       *    Understanding and awareness
programs                                   of job safety analysis, physical sur-     of company safety policies and pro-
   *    Conduct assessments to sup-        veys, employee safety training, safety    cedures                                      Ken J. Helfrich is assistant vice
port changes                               meetings, and job safety observa-            *    Recognition and reward for         president of field services at
   *    Take pro-active measures           tions. Employee involvement               good work and safety performance           Employers Direct Insurance
                                           includes the following:                                                              Company. Email him at
  The second most important com-              *     Visible and consistent com-         Safety excellence is based on the       khelfrich@employersdirect.com.
ponent is employee involvement.            mitment by management                     implementation of a measurement
Involvement incorporates activities           *     Individual development pro-      system. A Loss Control Specialist
that pro-actively identify hazards as      gram and training                         from Employers Direct Insurance




           Protect your workers from asbestos in construction
         sbestos is the name given to                                                elasticity of the lungs and lowers its    How to protect yourself?

A        a group of naturally occur-
         ring minerals. Asbestos dif-
fers from other minerals, in that it
                                                                                     ability to transfer oxygen and carbon
                                                                                     dioxide. Asbestosis is a slowly pro-
                                                                                     gressive disease, taking 15 to 30
                                                                                                                                  Before you disturb asbestos
                                                                                                                               (loosen the fibers) you must have
                                                                                                                               special training. OSHA requires a
forms long thin fibers instead of                                                    years to fully develop.                   “competent person” to be designated
crystals. There are six different min-                                                  Mesothelioma is a type of cancer.      for all worksites that will involve
erals, divided into two groups,                                                      This disease attacks the lining of the    asbestos work. The competent per-
included in the asbestos family. The                                                 space holding the lungs, called the       son should inspect the jobsite regu-
two groups are Serpentine and                                                        pleura. Mesothelioma is considered        larly, be knowledgeable of personal
Amphibole, and are based on the dif-                                                 to be exclusively related to asbestos     protective equipment, and supervise
ferences of their crystalline structure.                                             exposure. Mesothelioma may take           the work to be done to ensure all
Serpentine forms a sheet or layered                                                  30 to 40 years to develop.                safety measures are being taken to
structure. Amphiboles form a chain-                                                     Lung Cancer is a malignant             prevent exposure to asbestos.
like structure. Asbestos fibers are                                                  tumor in the lungs. The tumor grows
naturally occurring and stay airborne                                                through the surrounding tissues,          More Information
very well.                                                                           invading and blocking the air pas-           For more detailed information and
                                                                                     sages of the lungs. The time between      updates, visit the website maintained
Where do you find asbestos?                sheet metal workers, roofers, brick-      exposure to asbestos and the occur-       by the Occupational Safety and
   Asbestos is used in many products       layers, painters, and steel workers.      rence of lung cancer may take 20 to       Health Administration at
because of their high tensile              Any construction worker may be            30 years. It should be noted that         http://www.osha-
strength, flexibility, and resistance to   exposed occur during maintenance,         there is a multiplying effect between     slc.gov/SLTC/asbestos.
chemical and thermal breakdown.            remodeling, renovation or demoli-         smoking and asbestos exposure,               If you have any concerns or ques-
Asbestos is used in insulation, fire-      tion of older buildings.                  which creates a high susceptibility to    tions, contact your company’s health
proofing materials, automotive                                                       lung cancer.                              and safety representative.
brakes, cement and wallboard mate-         How can you become exposed?
rials, floor tiles and roofing materi-        Disturbing asbestos materials may
als.                                       generate airborne asbestos fibers.
   Chrysotile (a member of the             Asbestos is only dangerous if it
Serpentine group) is the most com-         becomes airborne. To be a signifi-
mon type of asbestos found in build-
ings. Chrysotile makes up 90-95%
                                           cant health concern, asbestos fibers
                                           must be inhaled over an extended                                           OSHA CORNER
of all the asbestos in the United          period of time. Asbestos fibers then
States. The federal government             accumulate in the lungs. As exposure
                                           increases, the risk of asbestos related
                                                                                                                       Cal/OSHA Safety Publ ications
declared a moratorium on asbestos
production in the early 1970’s.            diseases also increase. As long as
Installation of these products contin-     asbestos containing materials are not
ued into the early 1980’s.                 damaged, the asbestos fibers do not                   Please visit the following address on the web to
                                           become airborne and do not pose a                         download helpful safety posters, guides
Who is at risk of asbestos expo-           health threat.
                                                                                                      and pamphlets for a safer workplace.
sure?
   The construction trades most at         Asbestos related diseases
risk from asbestos are insulators,           Asbestosis is a scarring of the                   http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/PubOrder.asp
plumbers, pipefitters, electricians,       lung tissue. The scarring impacts the
4 The California Contractor April, 2008


   New identity theft prevention resource available to businesses
          new report issued today by the Identity

 A        Theft Prevention and Identity Management
          Standards Panel (IDSP) helps to arm busi-
 nesses, government agencies, and other organiza-
                                                                                                                         “The IDSP report is a much-needed approach to
                                                                                                                      fight a crime that totals $49.3B and affects 8.4 mil-
                                                                                                                      lion victims each year,” said James van Dyke,
 tions with the tools needed to protect themselves                                                                    president and founder of Javelin Strategy &
 and their customers against the theft and misuse of                                                                  Research. “As businesses and government agen-
 personal and financial information. Developed                                                                        cies standardize their identity-handling processes,
 through a partnership of more than 70 leading                                                                        fewer people will be victimized, more criminals
 organizations from the public and private sectors,                                                                   will be thwarted, and the costs of identity crimes
 the IDSP has created a single, comprehensive                                                                         will drop.”
 resource that promotes access to and implementa-                                                                        “The organizations involved in the IDSP have
 tion of tools and processes that can help to mini-                                                                   demonstrated their commitment to reducing a
 mize the scope and scale of identity theft and                                                                       major threat to consumers and the economy,” said
 fraud.                                                                                                               Gurreri. “Now it is time for other market players
    The report is freely available as a .pdf download            *     improve the integrity of identity creden-      to join forces with us to combat identity theft and
 from the Panel’s website (www.ansi.org/idsp).                tials;                                                  bolster fraud prevention.”
    Launched in September 2006, the IDSP was                     *     strengthen best practices for authentica-
 established by the American National Standards                                                                       About IDSP
                                                              tion;
 Institute (ANSI) and Better Business Bureau                                                                             The Identity Theft Prevention and Identity
                                                                 *     augment data security management best
 (BBB) to identify and catalog existing standards,                                                                    Management Standards Panel (IDSP) is a cross-
                                                              practices such as the use and storage of Social
 guidelines, and best practices related to identity                                                                   sector initiative that works to create a single
                                                              Security numbers;
 theft prevention.                                                                                                    resource of standards and guidelines that business-
                                                                 *     create uniform guidance for organizations
    Panel members considered the entire life cycle                                                                    es and other organizations can use to prevent and
                                                              on data breach notification and remediation;
 of identity management: from the issuance of iden-                                                                   respond to identity theft and fraud. Jointly spon-
                                                                 *     increase consumer understanding of ID
 tity documents by government and commercial                                                                          sored by the American National Standards Institute
                                                              theft preventative strategies, including the benefits
 entities, to the acceptance and exchange of identity                                                                 (ANSI; www.ansi.org) and the Better Business
                                                              and limitations of security freezes.
 data, and to the ongoing maintenance and manage-                                                                     Bureau (BBB; www.bbb.org the IDSP’s nine
 ment of identity information. Hundreds of docu-                                                                      founding partners are AT&T; ChoicePoint; Citi;
                                                                 “We brought together a diverse group of identity
 ments – including the applicable laws, regulations,                                                                  Dell Inc.; Intersections, Inc.; Microsoft; Staples,
                                                              protection experts to create a valuable and accessi-
 proposed legislation, white papers, and research                                                                     Inc.; TransUnion; and Visa Inc. Founded in
                                                              ble resource – something that was needed but did-
 studies and reports – are identified in the catalog.                                                                 September 2006, the Panel leverages ANSI’s
                                                              n’t yet exist,” explained Joseph Gurreri, chairman
    The report also includes recommendations for                                                                      unique expertise as coordinator of the U.S. stan-
                                                              of the IDSP, and president of
 business and government agencies to:                                                                                 dards and conformity assessment system with
                                                              CorporatePlanningGroup.NET. “Together, we
                                                                                                                      BBB’s extensive experience in advancing trust in
                                                              identified a broad spectrum of materials that can
   *     enhance the security of identity issuance                                                                    the marketplace, and includes participation from
                                                              be used by businesses and government agencies to
 processes to facilitate greater interoperability                                                                     all affected marketplace stakeholders. For more
                                                              strengthen the way they protect the personal data
 between the government and commercial sectors;                                                                       information, visit www.ansi.org/idsp.
                                                              for which they are responsible.”
    Postage PAID at
         Periodicals

    Sacramento, CA




                                 Disasters: License must be
                                 in the correct classification
                              Continued from page 1


                              tor’s license from the CSLB. There are exceptions,
                              including working as an employee of a licensed con-
                              tractor or taking jobs that are valued at less than $500.

                                 To become licensed, one must submit an application
                              for review, verify four years of journey-level experi-
                              ence in the trade to be licensed (general, plumbing,
                              etc.), pass a two-part examination (trade and
                              business/law), secure a license bond, and provide
                              workers’ compensation insurance for employees. The
                              entire process can take up to six months.

                                “The process to become licensed is in place to make
                              sure, to the extent possible, that contractors have the
  THE CALIFORNIA CONTRACTOR




                              qualifications and experience necessary to perform
                              contracting work. It is not something that can or should
                              be done overnight,” said Sands.

                                A contractor’s license can be verified on CSLB’s
  4153 Northgate Blvd., #6




                              Web site, www.cslb.ca.gov, to see if it is active and in
  Sacramento CA 95834




                              the right classification for the work to be done. You
                              can also check for legal complaints, the correct busi-
                              ness name, address and workers’ compensation insur-
                              ance coverage for employees.




 THE CALIFORNIA CONTRACTOR ISSN 0194-9721. Published monthly except bi-monthly July-August
 and November-December by SMC Publishers, 4153 Northgate Blvd., #6, Sacramento CA 95834. The
 California Contractor is devoted to the interests and concerns of contractors and their associations. Annual
 Subscription is $12.00, available through membership in the Western Regional Master Builders
 Association. Periodicals Postage Paid at Sacramento, California. POSTMASTER: Send address changes
 to The California Contractor, 4153 Northgate Blvd., #6, Sacramento CA 95834

				
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