I SPOKE TO THE INVESTIGATOR HANDLING MY CASE AND HE INFORMED ME THAT IF I MAKE DEMANDS OF THE CONTRACTOR REGARDING REPLACING THE FLOOR, OR DOING A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK ON HIS EMPLOYEES WHICH WILL INVOLVE MONEY ON THE PART OF THE CONTRACTOR, THE CONTRACTOR CAN SAY ITS TOO COSTLY AND THAT HE CANNOT DO IT WHICH WILL GIVE HIM THE RIGHT TO WALK AWAY FROM THE PROJECT WHICH IS WITHIN THE LAW.
A: I don't necessarily share the investigator's opinion. However, adding requirements to the contract concerning employees is not the same as requiring the contractor use materials which are of "merchantable quality." Your original interest was getting a quality job. There are many undocumented/illegal aliens whose work is superior to that of licensed contractors. The issue is legality -- which is something only you can assess. You have already had substandard work done at your property -- in your opinion, and the opinion of the local building inspector. That's something you can remedy under the contract, or pay someone else to repair and sue to recover against the original contractor.
Using unlawful workers can subject the contractor to fines from the CSLB -- which is why I'm not sure why he/she is telling you that it could give the contractor the right to walk away from the job. The sort of proof you are requiring costs the contractor little or nothing, and workers' compensation insurance is a requirement for employees. None of these things would permit the contractor to quit the job -- legally. Practically, however, if the contractor finds himself losing a lot of money in the deal, then he may walk away, simply because he cannot afford to finish the job. This is more likely what the investigator is referring to -- not to the contractor's legal right to walk off the job. The contractor has no legal right to walk away -- at least not without being liable for your damages. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THE CONTRACTOR TO RUIN MY PROPERTY THEN SAY IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE FOR HIM TO CORRECT THEN WALK AWAY FROM HIS RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE THOSE CORRECTIONS? AND HOW IS IT THAT HE CAN ALLOW ANY POTENTIAL CRIMINAL TO HAVE ACCESS TO MY HOME POTENTIALLY PUTTING ME AND MY FAMILY AT RISK?
A: People do unlawful things all the time, every day, and they get away with it, as long as no one can stop them. Many illegal workers are better at their work than their legally licensed counterparts. Construction craft is as much an art as it is a job -- and, a license is no guarantee of fine workmanship. You have to decide whether or not you can reach a settlement with the contractor, or whether you will fire that person, hire someone else, and sue for the difference. Ultimately, those are your options. The CSLB will enforce license regulations -- but, that won't necessarily get you the best quality job. The best workers produce the best work, and in the real world, the best workers are not always licensed, legal workers. WOULD IT BE UNLAWFUL FOR ME TO XXXXX WORKERS SPEAK ENGLISH OR HAVE SOME KNOWLEDGE ENGLISH IN ORDER THAT I MIGHT BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM DIRECTLY FOR SAFETY SAKE?
A: No. But, you have to decide your appetite for risk. Everything is risky. Sometimes you have to accept risk in order to obtain a benefit. The question, at least in my opinion, is whether or not the contractor can produce a quality job. To me, nothing else matters. That's something you must determine, and if you believe the contractor cannot do so, then you need a different contractor. WOULD IT BE UNLAWFUL FOR ME TO ASK TO SEE THE WORKERS ID TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE?
A: No, it would be entirely legal. However, be aware that many illegal workers have fake identification. So, that doesn't mean that the workers are legal. If you are really worried about the workers who arer at your home, then you can contact Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
and request an investigation. ICE is the only government agency that can actually deal with illegal workers.
Hope this helps.