I’ve learned some amazing facts about the California Private Investigator Examination. Of the people that can qualify to even take the test 85% fail the examination. Who are these failed applicants you ask? A high percentage of them are retired federal, state and local law enforcement officers including FBI agents! Many try to take the test again and still fail.
Having taken and passed the test I can say It was not a logical test and there were a few questions with more than one right answer. I have always had a gift for test taking and was disappointed to find out that the tests are only scored as pass or fail. I wanted to know what my score was and will never know.
These PI license applicants need not fear flunking the test because these guys simply set up shop as “Investigative Consultants” and rake in cash to do what they’re not licensed to do. The public and lawyers use these guys because they assume that they are somehow qualified. These rogue operators make excuses for their inability to get a license by simply saying they're retired law enforcement and don’t need a license. That kind of statement is just not true.
For every real licensed private investigator there are at least eight Investigative consultants working without a proper license who just can’t pass the test. Do you really need an unlicensed PI?
Turn'em in, burn'em and get rid of'em. This covers some of the employee vs. sub-contractors ect. ect. I'm experianced on both ends, becasue I do sub-contract out to LICENSED PI's and I also have a 'personal assitant' (Nikki) on my payroll as an employee.
Unlicensed PI Activity
(The below is from another PI)
Business and Professions Code hereinafter referred to as “B & P,” section 7520 states in part that no person shall engage in a business regulated by this chapter… as a licensee unless he or she is licensed under this chapter.
B & P section 7521 identifies what acts constitute engaging in the business of private investigator. Surveillance is listed.
B & P section 7521.5 (e) states in part, “If a person acts for, or on behalf of a private investigator in providing those services, that person shall be an employee of the private investigator… and there shall be an employer-employee relationship.”
I think that the most important section is B & P section 7523 (a) & (b). Section (a) states that no person shall engage in the business of private investigator unless that person has applied for and received a license to engage in that business. Section (b) states any person who violates any provision of this chapter or who conspires with another person to violate any provision of this chapter, relating to private investigator licensure, or who knowingly engages a nonexempt unlicensed person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of five thousand dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
Penal Code section 182, Conspiracy. It states in part in section (a) (1), “If two or more person conspire to commit a crime… they shall be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or in the state prison.” Accordingly, this section can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony.
Independent Contractor vs. Employee Violations
The following details who is and who is not an independent contractor. Unfortunately, an area that is far too often violated by our profession.
INSTRUCTIONS. A worker who is required to comply with other persons’ instructions about when, where, and how he or she is to work is ordinarily an employee. This control factor is present if the person or persons for whom the services are performed have the right to require compliance with instructions. See, for example, Rev. Rul. 68-598, 1968-2 C.B. 464, and Rev. Rul. 66-381, 1966-2 C.B. 449.
SERVICES RENDERED PERSONALLY. If the services must be rendered personally, presumably the person or persons for whom the services are performed are interested in the methods used to accomplish the work as well as in the results. See Rev. Rul. 55-695, 1955-2 C.B. 410.
CONTINUING RELATIONSHIP. A continuing relationship between the worker and the person or persons for whom the services are performed indicates that an employer-employee relationship exists. A continuing relationship may exist where work is performed at frequently recurring although irregular intervals. United States v. Silk.
SET HOURS OF WORK. The establishment of set hours of work by the person or persons for whom the services are performed is a factor indicating control. See Rev. Rul. 73-591, 1973-2 C.B. 337.
ORAL OR WRITTEN REPORTS. A requirement that the worker submit regular or written reports to the person or persons for whom the services are performed indicates a degree of control. See Rev. Rul. 70-309, 1970-1 C.B. 199, and Rev. Rul. 68-248, 1968-1 C.B. 431.
PAYMENT BY HOUR, WEEK, MONTH. Payment by the hour, week, or month generally points to an employer-employee relationship, provided that this method of payment is not just a convenient way of paying a lump sum agreed upon as the cost of a job. Payment made by the job or on a straight commission generally indicates that the worker is an independent contractor. Rev. Rul. 74-389, 1974-2 C.B. 330.
PAYMENT OF BUSINESS AND/OR TRAVELING EXPENSES. If the person or persons for whom the services are performed ordinarily pay the worker’s business and/or traveling expenses, the worker is ordinarily an employee. An employer, to be able to control expenses, generally retains the right to regulate and direct the worker’s business activities. See Rev. Rul. 55-144, 1955-1 C.B. 483.
REALIZATION OF PROFIT OR LOSS. A worker who can realize a profit or suffer a loss as a result of the worker’s services (in addition to the profit or loss ordinarily realized by employees) is generally an independent contractor, but the worker who cannot is an employee. Rev. Rul. 70-309. For example, if the worker is subject to a real risk of economic loss due to significant investments or a bona fide liability for expenses, such as salary payments to unrelated employees, that factor indicates that the worker is an independent contractor. The risk that a worker will not receive payment for his or her services, however, is common to both independent contractors and employees and thus does not constitute a sufficient economic risk to support treatment as an independent contractor.
MAKING SERVICE AVAILABLE TO GENERAL PUBLIC. The fact that a worker makes his or her services available to the general public on a regular and consistent basis indicates an independent contractor relationship. Rev. Rul. 56-660.
RIGHT TO DISCHARGE. The right to discharge a worker is a factor indicating that the worker is an employee and the person possessing the right is an employer. An employer exercises control through the threat of dismissal, which causes the worker to obey the employer’s instructions. An independent contractor, on the other hand, cannot be fired so long as the independent contractor produces results that meet the contract specifications. Rev. Rul. 75-41, 1975-1 C.B. 323.
RIGHT TO TERMINATE. If the worker has the right to end his or her relationship with the person for whom the services are performed at any time he or she wishes without incurring liability, that factor indicates an employer-employee relationship. Rev. Rul. 70-309.
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