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April 17, 2021

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Homebuilders face fines for unlicensed hires

L&I finds nearly 30 cases of workers without documents

By , Columbian staff writer

Several construction companies in Clark County could be hit with citations for employing unlicensed tradespeople and subcontractors.

A surprise sweep this month by the state Department of Labor Industries across about 240 local construction sites found nearly 30 cases where skilled workers weren’t in possession of needed documents.

At least 21 contractors were found to be working without registering with the state, and six plumbers were found to be working without journeyman’s licenses, the department said Friday.

Some more investigation has to occur, but the department told The Columbian it expects many, if not all, of the identified cases to result in citations.

“We believe these numbers will be very close to the actual number (of citations) that are issued,” said spokeswoman Debby Abe.

State law requires many skilled trades to be licensed or registered with the department. Working illegally carries a fine $1,000 for the first offense and up to $5,000 for multiple offenses.

The sweeps occurred June 12, 13 and 14 at housing developments in Ridgefield, where many new homes are under construction. During the sweep, compliance inspectors reportedly checked nearly 700 contractors, 35 plumbers and 43 electricians.

It wasn’t made clear which companies were found problematic.

The department said that the compliance checks were done as part of a coordinated crackdown that included sweeps in nine other states. In Washington, 22 inspectors checked 636 sites.


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