When a California homeowner hires a contractor to work on a home, the contractor is considered an independent contractor. Legally, this means the homeowner usually will not be liable for accidents or injury to the contractor or any workers, unless the homeowner directly contributed to the incident.

However, a homeowner may be tempted to hire an unlicensed contractor to save money on a home project. This is dangerous. The interaction between several sections of the California Labor Code may result in the unintentional change of the contractor or its worker into an employee of the homeowner. This change to the employment relationship opens the homeowner to a potential lawsuit for personal injuries.

Our recommendation to protect yourself –  you absolutely must check on the license status of any contractor you hire before they start work. Insist on proof of current and valid worker’s compensation insurance. Keep a photocopy of the insurance certificate and a printout of the contractor’s license status. The license status of ‘Antonis Construction Building & Painting, Inc.’ can be checked on the website of the State Contractor’s Licensing Board, at www.cslb.ca.gov.