What should I do?

Sparky820

Member
Location
Tavares, Fl
I am a qualifier for a small electrical company in Florida. In the beginning things were good. But over time he has decided not to do the things I ask him to do on the jobs. Some are minor things that technically are not code but are good work practices. Other are valid code issues but he refuses to take anybody’s word. I have told him numerous times that I am ultimately responsible and that I’m the one who they will come after if something goes wrong. He says I’m not liable and that if there ever was a problem insurance would handle it. Of course he is wrong but that‘s not my question. He has now gotten another license holder to qualify the company (behind my back). Today when I confronted him about it, he told me “ He can’t bid jobs the way I want (legal per code because he would lose every job)”. So obviously I will be exiting the place. But are there any precautions or actions to protect myself before I’m out the door? Every time I find something that needs fixed, he says” We are not going to spend a lot of time on that. I consider this a very bad business decision. Obviously he cares more about $$$ than quality work. I told him the new guy would have to be able to supervise the work and he said “Nope, he can supervise it and the license holder was hired to do nothing but pull permits and qualify the company”. Again I know this is not true. But mainly, how do I protect myself before I get out of this?
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
When you agree to qualify a company it's foolish to do so without a legal contract which states your rights and responsibilities. It sounds like you had no such contract. There is nothing you can do about it now. If something goes wrong with one of the jobs you may get called before the electrical board (but this is unlikely). You can explain like you just explained to us. It may help or it may not.

If things are being done on the job that you think are dangerous, you can attempt to remove yourself from the permit. Speak to the permit agncy on what your options are.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
I have told him numerous times that I am ultimately responsible and that I’m the one who they will come after if something goes wrong. He says I’m not liable and that if there ever was a problem insurance would handle it...
Making this comment for anyone else reading; they don’t “just handle it”.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

__dan

Senior Member
Insurance companies have seen many scammers come and go but they are still there. The insurer will say 'yes we take your premium, ' no we do not insure you for illegal work'. They will also start out by looking for anything they can use to deny the claim. I would say this is their default position, they are already one step ahead.

Anything life safety or risk of injury that you have your name on, put it in writing and deliver the letter to one or more of the alphabet agencies. I don't see another choice there. You just get better and faster at that with practice.

That only attempts to cover you. You have to be able to show you attempted to be dilligent by first reporting. If you think the alphabet agencies will enforce something you bring to them, I have tried that. The phrase 'crime does not pay', 'crime does pay' comes to mind. If there is no enforcement, then crime does pay. If they enforce 1 out of 100, especially the smaller guys who die quickly, then "crime does not pay" would be true. 'Crime does not pay' can mean many different things. Your boss's view on this would certainly be an eye opener if you could ever get that out of him. Even talking to him about it would be playing his game.

Anyone out there doing it gets an expensive education. Unfortunately mostly stuff you don't want to know. Walk away as clean as possible and I would probably not try to correct anything that is not life safety. But then again, I might have the letter already written and just need to change the name and address.

If it is life safety or predictable injury, I would hammer that hard, something I learned to do but would rather not know.

If you made a complaint to his insurer rather than to the permit issuer, that could get more meat per round expended. But then you probably would have to go all in and copy the letter to the AHJ as well. I really don't know what attaches to you, in all of the very different ways this could play out. Real criminals take their work very seriously, which goes back to step 1, hammer them harder and faster (if necessary).

You could try to let it go quietly, but the world is both changing and the pace of change is getting faster. No one knows what the result will be.

Only one thing I would be sure of. No one is going to go around and fix the bad work (that would be you). It is done and staying that way. The only thing that happens today is everyone is quick to point the finger at someone else.

Which gets back to step 1. If there is one thing in particular that stands out as a life safety and injury risk, write that leter and deliver it. You only need one good statute to give the guy 10 to life.
 

JoeyD74

Senior Member
Location
Boston MA
Occupation
Electrical contractor
I’d have your lawyer draft up a letter stating you are no longer license holder for that company with a specific date on it.
send a copy to all city’s and towns where you have an open permit.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
You have a legal problem. You need to have your lawyer deal with it. My guess is it won't cost all that much for you to get out of this bad deal that you got yourself into. I'm inclined to agree that your liability is very limited. That is something your lawyer can discuss with you.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
There's a reason he can't pass the exam and qualify his own company.

Roger
We can speculate from afar all we want but really the only person who can can give the original poster good advice in this situation is his lawyer. I think is best bet is just to get out and not worry about it all that much. The idea of sending a letter to all of the localities saying you're no longer associated with the company just doesn't seem to me to be anything that will do you any good as far as avoiding liability.

This is really a legal matter and needs to be dealt with by people who have some level of expertise in that field.
 

AKElectrician

Senior Member
I am a qualifier for a small electrical company in Florida. In the beginning things were good. But over time he has decided not to do the things I ask him to do on the jobs. Some are minor things that technically are not code but are good work practices. Other are valid code issues but he refuses to take anybody’s word. I have told him numerous times that I am ultimately responsible and that I’m the one who they will come after if something goes wrong. He says I’m not liable and that if there ever was a problem insurance would handle it. Of course he is wrong but that‘s not my question. He has now gotten another license holder to qualify the company (behind my back). Today when I confronted him about it, he told me “ He can’t bid jobs the way I want (legal per code because he would lose every job)”. So obviously I will be exiting the place. But are there any precautions or actions to protect myself before I’m out the door? Every time I find something that needs fixed, he says” We are not going to spend a lot of time on that. I consider this a very bad business decision. Obviously he cares more about $$$ than quality work. I told him the new guy would have to be able to supervise the work and he said “Nope, he can supervise it and the license holder was hired to do nothing but pull permits and qualify the company”. Again I know this is not true. But mainly, how do I protect myself before I get out of this?
I would find a lawyer.
I would also quit qualifying them immediately till they fix previous problems and make you some sort of qc before a job is sold.
 

flashlight

Senior Member
Location
NY, NY
We can speculate from afar all we want but really the only person who can can give the original poster good advice in this situation is his lawyer. I think is best bet is just to get out and not worry about it all that much. The idea of sending a letter to all of the localities saying you're no longer associated with the company just doesn't seem to me to be anything that will do you any good as far as avoiding liability.

This is really a legal matter and needs to be dealt with by people who have some level of expertise in that field.
Sending a letter could help in case OPs associates are unscrupulous and try to continue to use his license.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Sending a letter could help in case OPs associates are unscrupulous and try to continue to use his license.
I don't know whether that's true or not. neither do you. That's why you get actual help from someone who knows, which would be an actual lawyer familiar with these matters. Not someone pretending to give legal advice from the internet.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Sounded pretty speculative when you said the guy couldn't pass an exam.
Sounded pretty speculative when you said the guy couldn't pass an exam.
I said there's a reason he can't pass the exam. If he meets the experience requirement, the financial requirements, the knowledge, etc...., he could sit and pass the exam then qualify his own business.

But that aside, from the OP the owner obviously doesn't care about doing things right and is willing to cut corners so that too could be a reason. Personally I would contact the DPBR and tell them you are removing your license from the particular company, they will help you through the process. An attorney might not be necessary.

Roger
 
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