Tag Archives: Roofers

Same charge, Second Offense – Jail for Unregistered Contractor

SHELTON, WA — A roofer who was criminally charged twice in 13 months for working illegally as a contractor has been sentenced to 15 days behind bars.

Peter Daniel Yeaman, 57, pleaded guilty Thursday in Mason County District Court to a gross misdemeanor charge of unregistered contracting. Judge Victoria Meadows imposed the jail time, and ordered Yeaman to pay $1,000 in penalties and repay his victim $5,000.

The judge required Yeaman to begin serving the jail time no later than Aug. 9. If Yeaman doesn’t comply with the sentence or commits a crime in the next two years, he could face up to 349 more days in jail.

This is the second time the Washington Attorney General’s Office has prosecuted Yeaman based on a Department of Labor & Industries investigation into him and his company, Southgate Roofing, of Belfair.

Cashes check for new roofing job on same day as guilty plea

In the current case, Yeaman was not registered as a contractor when he agreed to reroof a house in Grapeview, south of Bremerton, and cashed a $5,000 check for the job on Nov. 23, 2015.

That was the very same day that he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in an older case on one count of unregistered contracting and one felony count of doing business after his workers’ compensation coverage was revoked. The sentence required, in part, that he not work as an unregistered contractor for two years.

“It’s hard to believe the audacity of this defendant,” said Elizabeth Smith, assistant director of L&I’s Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards.

“This is an especially serious case of someone who knew he was breaking the law for a second time, and chose to rip off a customer.”

In the 2015 case, Yeaman accepted the $5,000 check, and told the homeowner that the job would cost an additional $1,379. He said he would start the roofing job as soon as the rain “let up,” charging papers said.

That was in early December. The rain let up and months passed. The homeowner kept contacting Yeaman, who said in May 2016 that it would be a few more weeks before he could start. The homeowner then contacted L&I.

Multiple civil infractions for unregistered contracting

In the previous criminal case, Yeaman’s company started a roofing job in May 2014, but the owner of that home learned he was unregistered and asked for his money back. Yeaman never repaid him, and the owner hired a registered contractor to finish the job, costing the consumer $4,500 more than anticipated.

Since 2013, L&I has cited Yeaman nine times for unregistered contracting and twice for not obtaining a permit before altering a manufactured home.

L&I suspended his contractor registration in November 2012 for failing to pay his workers’ comp premiums.

He now owes L&I nearly $180,000 for unpaid contracting and safety infractions and workers’ comp premiums and penalties. The department is continuing efforts to collect the debt.

State law requires contractors to register with L&I, which confirms they have a business license, liability insurance and a bond to provide some recourse for consumers if problems arise. It’s illegal to work, offer, subcontract, submit bids or advertise as a contractor without being registered.

Consumers can verify contractor registration online (ProtectMyHome.net).

Note: prior post about Southgate Roofing from July 2015.

 

Roofing Company Owner Faces Felony Charge for Not Paying Workers’ Comp

A Mason County, WA roofing contractor faces a criminal charge for allegedly failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance for his employees while they were on the job.

The Washington State Attorney General’s office has charged Peter Daniel Yeaman, 55, with unregistered contracting and doing business when his workers’ comp coverage was revoked.

The latter charge is a felony with a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Yeaman is scheduled for arraignment in Kitsap County Superior Court today, July 23.

The case resulted from a Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) investigation into Yeaman and his company, Southgate Roofing, of Belfair.

 

Unfair business advantage

“When contractors skip out on workers’ comp, it’s illegal and it’s incredibly unfair to legitimate contractors who pay their fair share and get underbid by these lawbreakers,” said Annette Taylor, deputy assistant director of L&I’s Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards. 

“Workers’ comp premiums for roofers are among the highest in building construction and the trades, based largely on the safety risks those workers face.”

State law requires employers to provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. The coverage provides medical care and other financial support if employees are injured on the job.

Construction contractors also must register with L&I. The department confirms they have liability insurance and a bond and that, if they employ workers, they’ve paid their workers’ comp premiums.

 

At least six roofing employees

L&I suspended Southgate Roofing’s contractor registration in November 2012 for failing to pay workers’ comp premiums, and later officially revoked the company’s workers’ comp coverage.

Nonetheless, according to the charges, L&I found two consumers in Silverdale who had work done by the company in May 2014 and in August 2014.

During the August job, six workers told an L&I inspector they worked for Southgate Roofing. Yeaman himself told the inspector he needed to pay a bill before he could register as a contractor, charging papers said.

 

Eight previous infractions

In addition, the charges say that between October 2013 and September 2014, the company bought roofing materials numerous times from a Bremerton supplier and made numerous trips to a Bremerton disposal site.

Apart from the criminal charges, L&I has cited Yeaman with six unregistered contracting and two permit-related infractions since 2013, and several safety violations in 2013. L&I currently lists him as ineligible to bid or work on public works projects. He owes the department more than $28,000 for the unpaid fines and more than $131,000 for unpaid workers’ comp premiums, penalties and interest.

Photo credit: davidwilson1949 / Foter / CC BY 

Why Do Roofers Fall From Roofs? Is it just because of gravity?

Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Gelman from Jon Gelman, LLC – Attorney at Law.

This is a timely post as I just received notice that the Department of Labor and Industries investigated a fraud case against an employer in Lake Stevens, WA that did not cover his employees for workers’ compensation. This was not the first time the Department had contact with this employer for this same issue, either. This time, charges were filed and the employer was sentenced to sixty days in jail, converted to house arrest.

Roofers, of all workers, need their workers’ compensation coverage!

Today I received an urgent call from attorney representing a client in New Jersey who fell from a roof. Before she told me the job description of the injured worker, now in a coma, I correctly anticipated that it was probably a roofer who had fallen from a roof, yet again.

This scenario has played out in workers’ compensation claims for decades. How the accident happened is usually an argument with the employer. The employer claims that the employee was either intoxicated or not following safety precautions. My instinct always tell me that this is probably incorrect, since roofers tend to lose their balance and fall for many other reasons, including “gravity.”  Some reason a deprivation of oxygen and/or exposure to toxic neurological irritants contained in the roofing materials, and weather related events that make roofs slippery.

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