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Volume X, Number 193

July 10, 2020

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July 09, 2020

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Employers Beware of Fraudulent Specialty Contractor Licenses

Chemical processing, oil and gas transmission, and water industry employers should double-check the validity of workers’ specialty contractor licenses.

Employers in industries which use workers holding specialty contractor licenses, particularly any electrician license or explosive license appearing to have been issued in West Virginia, should verify that those licenses are valid and not fraudulent. The Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center (“PaCIC”) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) asking chemical, energy and water companies to report the discovery of fraudulent specialty contractor licenses to it at sp-protectpa@pa.gov or 1-855-772-7768.

The PaCIC reports a trend of foreign workers from Guatemala and Honduras working illegally at natural gas pipeline construction sites in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and North Carolina, but while using a false address and while in possession of fraudulently obtained West Virginia specialty licenses for electrical and explosives contractor work. It suspects such workers to be in the U.S. illegally and in possession of additional types of fraudulent identifications (driver’s license, SSN, green card, or consulate IDs). Because many other states give reciprocity to West Virginia-issued specialty contractor licenses, this trend could affect companies in a broad range of industries. 

Careful inspection (and re-inspection) of these specialty worker certifications can protect employers by identifying fraudulent conduct that otherwise may endanger a worksite and surrounding areas. 

© Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 154


About this Author

Shawn Morgan, Trial Attorney, Federal Court Litigator, Grand Jury Witness Appearances, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm

Shawn Morgan’s has extensive trial experience in the area of federal court litigation and is skilled in handling government investigations and grand jury witness appearances.  She is a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of West Virginia, where she has prosecuted federal criminal cases.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she spent four years as a judicial clerk for The Honorable Irene M. Keeley and three years in private practice in Clarksburg.  She leads the firm’s Cybersecurity Breach Response Team and currently serves as...

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Ryan Loos Associate West Virginia energy law

Ryan Loos, a first generation college graduate, became a lawyer because he wanted to give back to his beloved state of West Virginia. He has a background in political science and demonstrated strength as a writer, having been the Executive Research Editor and Associate Editor for the West Virginia Law Review while at West Virginia University College of Law.