PA 12-18—HB 5057

General Law Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION OF MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

SUMMARY: This act establishes a penalty for a mechanical contractor who fails to obtain a certificate of registration and willfully (1) engages his or her employees in plumbing and piping or heating, piping, and cooling work or (2) supplies for work an employee who does not hold a valid license to perform such work. The penalty is a $1,000 fine for a first offense and $2,500 for each subsequent offense. By law, failing to obtain a certificate of registration is an unfair and deceptive trade practice.

The act also specifies that the employees a mechanical contractor offers to the public for plumbing and piping work or heating, piping, and cooling work must be licensed.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

BACKGROUND

Mechanical Contractor

A mechanical contractor is any corporation, association, firm, partnership, or business organization that regularly offers to the public its employees' services in plumbing and piping or heating, piping, and cooling work. He or she must have 10 or more employees and work on commercial buildings or private dwellings with four or more residential units. By law, a mechanical contractor is required to obtain a certificate of registration from the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) commissioner before doing or offering to do work (CGS 20-341t).

Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act

The law prohibits businesses from engaging in unfair and deceptive acts or practices. It allows the DCP commissioner to issue regulations defining what constitutes an unfair trade practice, investigate complaints, issue cease and desist orders, order restitution in cases involving less than $5,000, enter into consent agreements, ask the attorney general to seek injunctive relief, and accept voluntary statements of compliance. It also allows individuals to sue. Courts may issue restraining orders; award actual and punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys fees; and impose civil penalties of up to $5,000 for willful violations and $25,000 for violating a restraining order.

OLR Tracking: DC: SN-E: JL: ro