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Renewing your Plumbing License

The License Board Meeting took place on June 13, 2017, where the DOB initially took the position that the Code definition of Licensed Master Plumber authorizes you to perform plumbing work and that you must be fit to perform. At that point, a Board Member pointed out that the Code also allows for supervision and that was followed by an industry partner's request to have the form amended.

Several days later the LIC62 form was amended to include supervision. It would have been ideal if the form had included the verbiage "perform and/or supervise" because it would provide clarity to the medical provider conducting the evaluation of your fitness and it would match the language in the actual law. The MPC has decided to try to work with the new form and will address any issues as they arise. The revised LIC62 form lists the relevant law for licensed master plumbers as follows:

This license authorizes a NYC licensee to perform and supervise plumbing work, including the installation, maintenance, repair, modification, extension, or alteration of plumbing and related systems, as prescribed in the NYC Administrative Code. NYC Administrative Code Section 28-408; 28-401.3.

What does that verbiage mean and how will it help to determine fitness?

To start, we should visit the Code for an exact definition of a Licensed Master Plumber and the requirements of our license.

The first is NYC Administrative Code section 28-401.3 the definition of Licensed Master Plumber, Master Plumber.

An individual who has satisfied the requirements of this chapter for the master plumber license, who has been issued a license, plate and/or seal, and who is authorized under the provisions of this chapter to perform plumbing work in the city of New York. A master plumber licensee shall practice his or her trade in association with a master plumber business or as an employee of a city agency.

The second is NYC Administrative Code section 28-408.6 Master plumber business.

No individual, corporation, partnership or other business associations shall conduct a plumbing contracting business in the city of New York, or employ the name "plumber" or "plumbing" in its business name unless such business is a master plumber business as follows:

1. No less than 51 percent of the control and voting capital stock of such plumbing contracting business is owned by one or more individuals who are licensed master plumbers who cannot be terminated from the public contracting business by any person or entity, except as otherwise provided;

2. All plumbing or gas piping work performed by such entity is performed by or under the direct and continuing supervision of such licensed master plumber.

3. The person in charge of such work is a licensed master plumber; and

4. The persons actually performing such work are in the direct employ of such licensed master plumber business as authorized by the Code.

So, do I have to perform or can I just supervise?

It is clearly written and understood in section 28-408.6.2 that a licensee has both the ability to perform or supervise the work. This Code section provides the medical provider with clarity that supervision is separate, thus allowing you to operate your business with no need ever pick up a tool.

What if I have a compensation waiver?

In most cases, if you have a compensation waiver you will be performing plumbing work and should be deemed fit to both perform and supervise the work. 

The form is vague, how will my doctor know if I am fit?

In our letter to the DOB, we stated that we would be moving forward to work with medical professionals to help determine what is the minimum required fitness level required to operate a licensed master plumber's business. To that end we are consulting with a physician that specializes in occupational medicine. The MPC is preparing a letter that will help explain what your responsibilities are and clearly show that you need not perform the work, but must be able to provide responsible control of the persons you are supervising. Because the LIC62 does not provide any specific criteria many general practice doctors may need to see the letter, being prepared by the MPC, that cites the law and explains the plumbing profession.

That is not an answer, how fit do I have to be?

In our opinion, you must be "fit" enough to provide effective communication to maintain responsible control of the persons actually doing the work, either personally or through one or more, but no more than three levels of competent supervision. The LIC 62 form requires your medical provider to take the following into consideration:

* Mentally capable means to lack any medical conditions that might impair cognitive function or emotional state to the extent that the applicant cannot complete the responsibilities of the license.

* Medically fit applicants must not be suffering from medical conditions or undergoing any medical treatment that is likely to cause sudden loss of consciousness or incapacity, impairment of awareness, concentration, or significant limitation of mobility that could prevent the licensee from performing the duties of the license.

I have a medical condition, can I still renew my license?

Based on our consultations to date with the occupational specialist, there are very few "conditions" that should prevent you from having this form successfully completed by a medical provider. However, you may have a "common" condition that, if it is not being treated and if the levels are too high, could prohibit you from having the form completed.

That is very vague.

These types of medical tests/evaluations are required for many jobs that are controlled by the Federal State and local Governments. Two occupational groups that our consultant's practice certifies are truck drivers and NYC police. His practice and the persons conducting the evaluations are specially certified to conduct the examinations. When they examine persons from these groups, they have specific criteria to work with. For example, if a Police officer's sugar level is too high he will be taken out of the field. There may be "conditions" that will outright prohibit you from having this form completed if your test levels exceed the "acceptable" levels. Your general practice doctor has standards for each test they conduct and you should start with those levels.

When do I have to have this form completed?

According to the LIC62, the physical examination form should be completed within 90 days of submission of your renewal application. You may submit your renewal application within 30-60 days of the expiration.

MPC SUGGESTIONS:While we do not anticipate any issues, you should make sure your LIC62 form is dated to meet the above criteria. If you attempt to renew close to your expiration date and the form is rejected you may be out of the plumbing business until you can resolve the issue.

You may want to have a complete physical with your medical provider well in advance of your renewal. If, for any reason, you may have a condition that can prevent your renewal, you may have time to have that condition treated prior to having the form completed.

Conclusion:The MPC has prepared a letter that a licensee can bring to their physician that will help explain what your responsibilities are and clearly show that you need not perform the work, but must be able to provide responsible control of the persons you are supervising. The MPC believes that, in most cases, a "condition", if being treated successfully, should not prohibit renewal of your license.

Understanding the LIC62 Physical Examination Form

Disclaimer: The MPC has done its best to work to develop a protocol for licensees to successfully complete this form. We have taken the DOB's recommendation that a licensed master plumber and their doctor are the best persons to determine what makes a licensee "fit" to operate. We have prepared this update utilizing our members expert experience in successfully operating a NYC licensed plumbing business.

The DOB is the authority having jurisdiction and may, at any time, make changes to their interpretation of this Code section. In the event that happens, we will inform the industry, address the issue and, if necessary, take actions to ensure that you are not deprived of your livelihood.

If you have any issues completing your LIC 62 form, please contact the office for guidance. If for any reason your physician refuses to complete the form or has concerns about doing so, please contact the office.

Any questions or comments can be sent to qbo@alpzcp.bet.