A rule change effective December 1, 2010 will authorize the Wisconsin Department of Commerce (DOC) to impose forfeitures on those who do not comply with certain licensing, certification and registration requirements, or those who hire persons or entities who have not registered or do not have required credentials.
In 2009, DOC started to require various trades involved in building or modifying structures to register as a building contractor. However, those that hold certain credentials, such as contractors who have a dwelling contractor certification, are exempt from this registration requirement. This new rule will allow DOC to impose forfeitures on those who do not have their registration, or certain other credentials, such as a dwelling contractor certification. In addition, forfeitures may be imposed on an entity or individual who contracts with another entity or individual who fails to comply with licensing, certification or registration requirements. Thus, a general contractor who has its dwelling contractor certification may be subject to a penalty if the general contractor contracts with a subcontractor who does not have its certification or registration.
WBA objected to this rule, arguing among other things that the forfeiture amounts were excessive. In final version of the rule sent to the legislature, the forfeiture amounts were significantly reduced. Under the revised rule, the forfeitures for failing to comply with the licensing/ certification/ registration requirements, or for contracting with an entity that does not meet these requirements, are as follows: first offense, $250; second offense, $500; and third offense, $1000.
In addition to authorizing the imposition of forfeitures, as a result of a statutory change, this rule also expands the trades subject to registration to include those that construct, install or alter mechanical equipment and devices such as boilers, gas systems, piping and mechanical systems serving a building or structure. The requirement was also expanded to include those involved in the construction, installation or alteration of permanent devices or structures regulated under the amusement or sanitation code.