NEW JERSEY – Unscrupulous contractors who hire unqualified tradespeople while using another person’s occupational license will face stiffer penalties under a new law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy this week.
Assemblyman Hal Wirths, a prime sponsor of the bill (A6150), said that the new law will discourage the practice of license lending.
“Occupational license transfer or lending takes jobs away from trained, educated and licensed tradespeople. Knowingly employing unqualified workers who could perform substandard work hurts consumers and businesses,” Wirths (R-Sussex) said. “This law sends the message that New Jersey takes this crime seriously and the bad actors will be punished accordingly.”
The law raises civil penalties for individuals who transfer or lend licenses issued by certain boards that regulate trade occupations such as electricians, locksmiths, plumbers, and HVAC contractors. Penalties will be increased to $15,000 from $10,000 for the first violation and to $25,000 from $20,000 for second and subsequent violations. It also imposes the same heightened penalties for the transfer of a registration for home improvement and home elevation contractors.
Senator Steve Oroho, a prime sponsor of the Senate bill (S4119), introduced the measure after working with the Pipefitters Union.
“The laws against license lending are clear, but some contractors continue to cut corners to save time and money,” Oroho (R-24) said. “The unethical practice is an all-too-common occurrence that can result in unnecessary health and safety risks. The penalties have not been sufficient to discourage the violators and this new law will turn up the heat.”
The bill passed both houses unanimously.