Gregory Rudolph failed to provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage
(Woodland, CA) – April 24, 2015 Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that Gregory Rudolph, 57, of Vacaville was convicted of Workers’ Compensation Fraud on April 21, 2015. Yolo County Superior Court Judge Janene Beronio sentenced Rudolph to three years informal probation.
This case originated from the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office Information and Resource Sharing (DAIRS) group. DAIRS is a work group which includes representatives from the Department of Industrial Relations, the Contractor’s State License Board as well as local building and code inspectors. DAIRS members share resources in an effort to better protect Yolo County citizens from unscrupulous contractors and other service providers. Investigations conducted by multiple agencies in the fight against fraud allows the District Attorney’s Office to assist citizens who are being victimized by unlicensed and uninsured employers.
In September of 2014, Rudolph went to the victim's home to perform electrical work. Although Rudolph was licensed by the Contractor’s State License Board, he did not have any workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees. On his permit application, Rudolph stated that he would not have any employees working with him on the project, however he brought an employee to the home to assist him. Although Rudolph claimed the individual was an independent contractor, he treated him as an employee by assigning him work, providing needed tools, and paying him a wage set by Rudolph. These facts, combined with the fact that the employee was not a licensed contractor himself, made the individual an actual employee instead of an independent contractor. Making the situation worse, Rudolph had the unskilled employee work from the roof of the house and feed wires down to him. Rudolph neglected to cut electricity to those wires, placing the employee at risk of death by electrocution.
District Attorney Jeff Reisig emphasized the incredible liability homeowners face from hiring uninsured employers or unlicensed contractors, saying, “If the employee was injured or killed while working on the citizen’s roof, the homeowners would have been personally liable for all of his medical bills. Most homeowner’s insurance will not cover these types of injuries, resulting in the homeowner owing hundreds of thousands of dollars and potentially losing their home and life savings. It is vital that consumers ensure the contractors they hire are licensed by the Contractor’s State License Board and have proper workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.”
Consumers are strongly encouraged to visit the Contractor’s State License Board website to determine whether someone is a licensed contractor with workers’ compensation insurance at http://www.cslb.ca.gov.
If you suspect a contractor is committing Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud please contact the Yolo County District Attorney's Fraud Hot Line at 855-4-YOLO DA (855-496-5632) or report by email at Fraud@yoloda.org. Reports of suspected fraud can also be made online at www.yoloda.org/fraud.