Consumer Connection - Fall 2023

Printer Friendly

In this Issue:


You Have Questions?
We've Got Answers!

Compiled by DCA Staff

Q: I recently came to California as a refugee. A family member told me they'd heard about a way to speed up licensing for certain jobs. How can i benefit from this program?

The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) licenses and regulates 3.4 million licensees in a diverse range of professions and occupations. These include accountants, nurses, physicians, security guards, contractors, barbers, cosmetologists, and more. Some individuals do qualify to have their applications for licensure expedited, including refugees who meet certain requirements. To apply, individuals must provide evidence of their refugee, asylee, or special immigrant visa status with their application package, such as:

  • Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, with an admission class code such as “RE” (refugee) or “AY” (asylee), or other information designating the person a refugee or asylee.
  • Special immigrant visa that includes the classification codes “SI” or “SQ.”
  • Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551), commonly known as a “green card,” with a category designation indicating that the person was admitted as a refugee or asylee.

While licensure is not guaranteed, the application process is fast-tracked for those who qualify for licensure.

For more information, email, or contact the relevant licensing board or bureau. Free language assistance services are also available by calling (833) 498-2006.

Q: What should i do if i feel sick after a pesticide application?

Pesticides can make you sick, but some symptoms may not show up right away. Depending on the pesticide used by a licensed structural pest control company and the amount of exposure, you may experience:

  • Flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, headache, or dizziness.
  • Eye, skin, or nose irritation.
  • Stinging or burning eyes or nose.
  • Stuffy nose, sore throat, or coughing.
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach cramps.
  • Difficulty breathing.

A licensed structural pest control company that applies any pesticide within, around, or to any structure must provide you within 24 hours after request the common, generic, or chemical name of each pesticide applied. If you feel sick after your home was treated with a pesticide, contact your health care provider or call the California Poison Control System hotline at (800) 222-1222. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, and interpreters are available. Remember to tell staff which pesticide was used and how it was applied. For answers to frequently asked questions surrounding pesticides, visit

Pesticide-related illnesses can be reported to your county agricultural commissioner's office.

Q: What does the 'D.O.' in a doctor's title mean?

"D.O." means the physician is a doctor of osteopathic medicine. State-regulated as a distinct medical profession since 1922, osteopathic physicians are fully licensed to prescribe medication and practice in all medical and surgical specialty areas, including surgery, just like their medical doctor ("M.D.") counterparts.

D.O.s are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands in an integrated approach to help diagnose and treat patients. D.O.s may refer to themselves as doctors but must clearly state they are D.O.s or osteopathic physicians and surgeons. They can't state or imply that they are M.D.s while licensed in California as D.O.s. California's D.O.s are overseen by DCA's Osteopathic Medical Board of California (OMBC), which licenses qualified osteopathic physicians and surgeons to practice osteopathic medicine and enforces laws and regulations governing their practice.

For more information on these licensed health care professionals, call OMBC at (916) 928-8390 or visit

Q: I am an occupational therapist, and my California board of occupational therapy license expires tomorrow. I sent in my renewal payment two weeks ago. When will I get my new license?

It is important to remember that it takes anywhere from three to five weeks to process your license renewal, so please plan accordingly. This information is on the renewal reminder, which is sent to all licensees approximately 75 days prior to the expiration date. The unit within DCA that processes your renewal also does so for all professional licenses within DCA. To ensure your license is renewed before it expires, it is important to submit your renewal payment at least six weeks before the expiration date when paying by check. In the alternative, license renewal payments can be made by credit card at least six weeks before the expiration date by going online to

Want To Get DCA News First? Visit The DCA Page!

Get DCA News, Stories, Photos, Videos, And More, And Sign Up To Have The Latest Updates Sent Straight To Your Inbox:


Got a question about your contractor, dentist, doctor, cosmetologist, or one of the many other professionals licensed and regulated by DCA? Maybe you’d like to know more about how DCA helps consumers like you make wise decisions by informing you about the laws that protect you? Now is your chance to ask!

Submit your question via email to and it may be answered in a future issue of Consumer Connection. Please note: We are not able to answer questions regarding the status of a license application, complaint, or investigation. Some questions have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Physicians From Mexico Are Filling A Huge Need In Underserved California Communities

By former Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez and Senator Anna Caballero

Quality health care has been lacking for decades for California’s hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, who face formidable barriers with the cost of health care, lack of insurance, and the cultural and linguistic disparities that exist being away from home.

In 2002, legislation carried by the late Assembly Member Marco Firebaugh of Los Angeles took aim at this problem, creating the Licensed Physicians and Dentists from Mexico Pilot Program. It allows up to 30 physicians licensed in Mexico who specialize in family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology, to practice in California for up to three years.

To implement the pilot program, California’s Business, Consumer Services and Housing (BCSH) Agency through the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Medical Board of California partnered with the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM) and the University of California, Davis. Four community health centers are participating in Salinas, Reseda, Southgate, Orange, Santa Ana, Tulare, and Hollister—with 27 doctors currently licensed and three more on their way.

Studies show that delivering culturally and linguistically appropriate services plays an essential role in improving patients’ health. The ability to understand what a patient says in their native language builds trust in the patient-doctor relationship, which leads to better health outcomes and can decrease the state financial burden of using emergency departments as a first line of care.

On a sunny afternoon in Salinas, community members gathered to share early success stories of the program in its first year. At tables decorated with fresh flowers, more than 50 people gathered in a community roundtable hosted by the Clinica de Salud del Valle in Salinas, which has been providing health care services to agricultural families in Monterey County since the 1980s.

Members of the community and several doctors currently participating in the first-ever binational pilot program shared how Mexico-trained and licensed physicians practicing in underserved areas in California are decreasing health disparities.

From community leaders to clinic staff, everyone had a story to share about the immense and immediate impact these doctors are having on improving health outcomes for migrant workers and their families. In its first year, the program is already seeing a positive effect among migrant communities, with anecdotes illuminating the importance of receiving care by those who speak your language.

One example stands out.

A physician at the clinic spoke to us about a patient who complained “se me subió el muerto,” which in English literally translates to “the dead came up to me.” While a non-native speaker might be perplexed by the expression, the Mexican doctor immediately understood the common idiom for sleep paralysis.

Everyone we spoke to told us that this kind of linguistic and cultural understanding makes it far likelier that patients with conditions such as diabetes and hypertension will feel more comfortable seeking health care and asking honest questions.

In addition to acute and chronic medical conditions, doctors shared that patients are also more willing to discuss their stress and mental health concerns, “from housing insecurity, anxiety about family, or their undocumented status.”

In other words, things that would otherwise be omitted out of fear in using a translator gets communicated without shame and in confidence to the Mexican health care providers.

The program is also benefiting the doctors themselves. They shared with us that while they are leaving their families and country behind, they have been given a sense of purpose and take justifiable pride in what they are doing, often caring for more than 30 patients a day at some clinics.

We know that more doctors and resources are needed to provide health care to underserved communities.

Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature expanded Medi-Cal coverage in the 2022–23 budget to an estimated 700,000 undocumented Californians, making the program available to income-eligible people between the ages of 26 to 49.

The budget also included $1.7 billion over three years in health care workforce investments, part of which will go toward increasing linguistic and cultural competencies by encouraging the recruitment, training, and hiring of an ethnically and culturally inclusive health and human services workforce, with improved diversity, wage, and health equity outcomes.

All of this will be of immense help, especially when it is paired with culturally and linguistically competent health care providers like the physicians and clinic staff we met in Salinas.

It is too soon to gauge the success of the California Licensed Physicians and Dentists from Mexico Pilot Program. The UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities will conduct an evaluation over the next two years to assess the pilot program’s impact and its future.

But the initial results look promising. It is well past time to acknowledge that there needs to be much more culturally competent health care for underserved populations in California.

Lourdes Castro Ramírez is former Secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Anna Caballero represents the California State Senate’s District 12, which includes Salinas.

New Laws Benefit Licensed Professionals And Consumers

Nurse Practitioners, Telehealth Professionals, And Fiduciaries Affected

By Laurel Goddard
Consumer Connection staff

Several laws took effect in the last few years that increase access to services and bolster protection for consumers and expand opportunities for learning and licensure for professionals.

Nurse Practitioner Practice Authority Expanded

Assembly Bill (AB) 890 (Wood, Chapter 265, Statutes of 2020) took effect January 1, 2021. The Board of Registered Nursing acted quickly to implement the law’s provisions, and in January 2023 released an expedited application process for the two new categories of nurse practitioners the law creates, commonly referred to as “103 NP” and “104 NP.” A 103 NP can work without standardized procedures in specific group settings with at least one physician and surgeon within the population focus of their national certification. A 104 NP can work without standardized procedures outside of a group setting within the population focus of their national certification.

This maximization of the nurse practitioner role is expected to increase access to care for many more people in California, especially in underserved and rural areas.

For more information, visit the Board’s website at

Telehealth In Mental Health Care Licensing Addressed

A pair of new laws—AB 1758 (Aguiar-Curry, Chapter 204, Statutes of 2022) and AB 1759 (Aguiar-Curry, Chapter 520, Statutes of 2022)—address the use of telehealth both in training current mental health professionals and supervision of those seeking specific mental health care licensing. Individuals seeking Board of Behavioral Sciences licensure as a marriage and family therapist, clinical social worker, or professional clinical counselor must first obtain 3,000 hours of experience under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional. Previously, the law required applicants to meet with their supervisor weekly in person (unless in an exempt setting, where supervision via two-way, real-time videoconferencing was allowed).

With the onset of the COVID-19 emergency, the profession shifted from largely in-person to electronic platforms. A law waiver allowed Board supervisees to obtain required supervision via videoconferencing, regardless of work setting. The benefits of the enhanced supervision prompted the Board to pursue the law changes in AB 1758, which became effective August 29, 2022, and allows required weekly supervision via two-way, real-time videoconferencing in all settings. It’s effective until January 1, 2026, when the Board will reevaluate.

AB 1759, effective January 1, 2023, requires all Board registrants (associates) to complete a three-hour continuing education course in California law and ethics each renewal cycle, and deletes the requirement that those who failed the California Law and Ethics Exam take a 12-hour state law and ethics course to take the exam again in their next renewal period. It also requires licensure applicants and current licensees to complete three hours of training in the provision of mental health services via telehealth including related law and ethics as a one-time requirement.

For more information, visit the Board’s website:

Fiduciaries’ Cultural Competency Education Requirements Expanded

Effective January 1, 2023, AB 465 (Nazarian, Chapter 167, Statutes of 2021) requires professional fiduciary licensees as part of license renewal or restoration to complete at least two hours of instruction in ethics, two hours in cultural competency, or a two-hour combination in both ethics and cultural competency, every year. Applicants must also complete at least one hour of instruction in cultural competency as part of their initial 30 hours of education required for licensure.

More information is available via the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau website at

Prospective College Students: Beware Of Diploma Mills

Learn The Warning Signs And What To Do If You Have Concerns

By Brady Oppenheim
Consumer Connection staff

You hear about a private college, postsecondary school, or trade school where you don’t have to read textbooks, submit homework assignments, or take exams, but you still get credits and graduate. Sounds like a slam dunk, right?

But if it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is: Unregulated and fraudulent private schools—referred to as “diploma mills”—prey on eager students, taking your money and leaving you with nothing but a worthless diploma in return.

While these so-called schools cultivate a veneer of respectability, they are nothing more than run-of-the-mill scam artists. They operate without supervision of a state or professional agency and grant diplomas that are either flat-out fraudulent or, because of the lack of proper educational standards, worthless. Such “schools” are unaccredited, but they often claim accreditation by real-sounding nonrecognized, or unapproved organizations set up as false fronts for scamming purposes.

Do Your Homework

In researching distance-learning institutions, watch out for those that have no intention of providing instruction: They simply sell documents. Any time you don’t have to do schoolwork yet still receive credits, it’s a red flag that the school is probably a diploma mill. While it may be tempting to get a diploma for little or no effort, these credentials aren’t accepted by many companies. So, instead of having the training you need to begin your career and change your life, you’ll have a useless piece of paper and be out thousands of dollars—or even tens of thousands.

If your career goal requires you to have a license or certification, reach out to the licensing or certifying entity (like those overseen by DCA) and ask what is required for employment. If schools must be approved prior to their graduates being eligible for licensure or certification, ask for a list of approved schools in your community or in the area where you want to study.

Help Is Here

If you are concerned that a private college, postsecondary school, or trade school—whether online or in-person—may be a diploma mill, DCA’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) can help. You can file a complaint directly with BPPE so the Bureau can investigate the school, email for assistance, or call BPPE toll-free at (888) 370-7589.

And before you sign that tuition check, verify the California private school you’re interested in plus its subject-matter program are approved to operate: Search BPPE’s list of approved private postsecondary education providers online anytime at

For additional help, BPPE’s Office of Student Assistance and Relief provides students with information on their rights when attending a private college, filing a school complaint, resources available including potential reimbursement from the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF), and how to access state and federal relief programs.

For more information plus resources and tips for prospective and current students, visit or the Bureau’s Office of Student Assistance and Relief at

Get The Most Out Of Your Home Improvement Project

A Detailed Contract Helps Avoid Problems And Misunderstandings

By Ryan Jones
Consumer Connection Staff

Have you been considering a new kitchen, dreaming of a redone den, or thinking about fixing a leaky roof? No matter what project you’re planning, the best step for success is to have a detailed contract with the licensed contractor you hire to execute the work.

A home improvement contract is a legal agreement between a contractor and a property owner or between a contractor and a tenant that describes all labor, services, and materials to be furnished and performed. A home improvement contract also can mean an agreement between a home improvement salesperson and property/homeowner or tenant.

The contract should contain all project details agreed upon by you and your contractor. Details should include a work description, price, payment schedule, who will pull necessary building department permits in the local jurisdiction, and when the job will begin and end. The contractor’s state license number, address, and phone number also should be listed.

Contracts are vital communication tools between consumers and contractors: They should outline all project expectations to help avoid misunderstandings—and potential cost overruns. A thorough contract details who will do the work, what materials will be used, where and when the work will be done, and how much it will cost.

A home improvement contract should always be:

  • In writing
  • Legible.
  • Easy to understand.
  • Clear in stating a consumer’s right to cancel or rescind the contract.

Details, Details, Details

Home improvement project details can sometimes change. However, any verbal agreed-upon changes to the contract should also be in writing. These “change orders” should be kept with your other project paperwork.

A home improvement contract should be as specific as possible regarding all materials to be used, such as the style, brand, model, quality, quantity, weight, color, size, or any other description that may apply. A thorough, detailed contract is the best way to avoid execution misunderstandings and end up with results you are happy with.

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) provides a good example of language in a well-executed contract, compared to vague language to avoid:

  • Good—“Install XX (quantity), company XYZ, upper/lower maple kitchen cabinets, model ABC, style/color 0123, European hinges, hardware model 1000, per plan dimensions and diagram.”
  • Risky—”Install maple kitchen cabinets.”
  • Asking for trouble—“Install new cabinets.”

Dollars And Sense

Price—All contracts must include the agreed-to price. Any job costing $500 or more (combined material and labor) requires a written home improvement contract. By law, the job must be completed for the agreed-upon contract price. If the contract price must be adjusted, it must be done with a written change order that becomes a contract amendment.

Down payment—If the contract calls for a down payment before work starts, the down payment cannot be more than $1,000 or 10% of the contract price, whichever is less, for a home improvement job (including a pool). There are no exceptions for special-order materials. There is a down payment exception for about two dozen licensees who carry special bonds to protect consumers, known as blanket performance and payment bonds. These exceptions are noted on CSLB’s website (visit, choose the “Consumers” tab, then “Hire a Contractor,” then scroll to “Learn About Home Improvement Contracts”).

Schedule of payments—A home improvement contract must include a payment schedule unless payment is not due until completion. Progress payments must show the amount of each payment and detail what work, materials, or services are to be done for that particular payment. It is unlawful for a contractor to request or receive payments for a home improvement project in excess of the value of work performed.

Before hiring a contractor for your project, be sure they are licensed and in good standing via the DCA license search website— and click on “Contractors State License Board” at the top of the page— and watch the video “10 Tips For Hiring a Contractor” on CSLB’s website at under the “Consumers” tab.

Contracts Are Vital Communication Tools Between Consumers And Contractors.

CSLB offers these tips when hiring a contractor:

  • Hire state-licensed contractors. The six-or seven-digit license number should be displayed in all advertisements, including business cards.
  • Get at least three references from a contractor and review their past work in person if able.
  • Ensure project expectations are in writing and only sign a contract if the terms are easy to understand.
  • Confirm the contractor has workers’ compensation insurance for employees.
  • Avoid paying more than 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less and avoid paying in cash.
  • Don’t let payments get ahead of the work.
  • Keep a file of all documents relating to the project, including payments.
  • Avoid making final payment until satisfied with the job.

Know The Basics Of Auto Repair

The Right Repairs And Resources Can Keep You On The Road Longer

By Ryan Jones
Consumer Connection staff

Proper repairs and regular maintenance are essential for vehicle safety and reliability. Taking good care of your vehicle can extend its life by years and potentially save you thousands of dollars.

The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) recommends the following tips and resources to help consumers care for and protect their vehicles.

Find A Licensed Auto Shop

All auto shops must hold an automotive repair dealer license issued by BAR to perform vehicle repair and maintenance services in California. Check the license ( of an auto shop, or use BAR’s Auto Shop Locator at, under the “Online Services” tab, to find a licensed shop in your area.

If you decide to use a mobile repair business, make sure the business name, license number, and phone number are displayed on the business vehicle or any online advertisement before committing to using their services.

Know Your Rights

When taking your vehicle to the shop for repairs or service, it’s important to know your rights. Under California’s Automotive Repair Act, you are entitled to:

  • An estimate—Before beginning any repairs, the auto shop must provide you with an estimate showing the estimated price for parts and labor and obtain your authorization.
  • An invoice—After completing all repairs, the auto shop must provide you with an invoice showing the final price for parts and labor.
  • Return of replaced parts—You can request the shop to return any parts it replaces on your vehicle, but be sure to ask for those parts before authorizing the estimate.

Maintenane Resources

  • Read your vehicle owner’s manual for important information on maintenance and service needs, including fluid requirements, help with interpreting warning indicator lights, and details concerning your vehicle’s warranty.
  • Review available maintenance resources such as those offered by the Car Care Council at
  • Check the recommended oil change interval for your vehicle, and recycle used oil at a collection center near you. To find a collection center via the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s website, visit, click on the “Recycle” tab, and choose “Motor Oil.”

Safety Recalls

A safety recall is issued when a vehicle manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a vehicle or any of its systems or components creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet federal motor vehicle safety standards. Vehicle manufacturers are required to fix the problem by repairing or replacing any recalled parts. The repairs shall be made at no cost to the consumer.

If you receive a safety recall notice for your vehicle, ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers by scheduling to have the necessary repairs made as soon as possible. To check for any recalls issued for your vehicle, visit and enter the 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) to review any recall information, including important repair instructions.

Collision Repairs

Collision repairs are often hidden by a vehicle’s panels, so it can be hard to tell if repairs were performed correctly—or if they were done at all. The same can be true for total-loss vehicles that are subsequently repaired and returned to service under salvage title.

BAR’s Auto Body Inspection Program ( under the “Consumers” tab) offers a convenient, no cost inspection of collision-related repairs to help ensure the safety of you and your vehicle.


Most consumers have a generally positive experience when taking their vehicle to an auto shop for repairs or services. But, if you have concerns about a shop’s work or service and cannot resolve those issues with the shop’s management, BAR encourages consumers to file a complaint. A BAR representative will work with you and the licensee to try and resolve the issue. File a complaint online at under the “Online Services” tab, or call (800) 952-5210.

Knowing the basics about auto repair can help you and your passengers stay safe while keeping your vehicle on the road for years to come.

Putting The 'Medical' In 'Medical Spas'

Five Reminders For Your Health And Peace Of Mind

By Brady Oppenheim
Consumer Connection staff

The words “medical spa” evoke soothing images of candles, music, and relaxation. But the Medical Board of California (MBC) reminds consumers to always keep “medical” front-of-mind before visiting a medical spa.

Medical Spas, Procedures, And Licensure

Consumers should be aware that medical spas are marketing vehicles for medical procedures. If spas are offering medical procedures, they must be owned by licensed physicians, and medical treatments at spas should only be performed by licensed medical professionals. While cosmetologists are licensed professionals and highly qualified in treatments like facials and microdermabrasion, they cannot inject the skin, use lasers, or perform medical-level dermabrasion or skin peels. No unlicensed personnel, including medical assistants, may use these devices or prescriptive drugs regardless of their level or training or supervision. These types of treatments must be performed by qualified and licensed health care providers. In California, that means a physician, or a registered nurse or physician assistant under the supervision of a physician.

Five Key Reminders

For your health and peace of mind, follow these five tips from MBC:

  1. Know who will perform the procedure, their qualifications, and their licensing status. Is the physician performing the procedure board-certified in an appropriate specialty? If a registered nurse or physician assistant will be doing the procedure, what are their qualifications, and where is the doctor who is supervising them? (Although the supervising physician does not have to be on site, the supervising physician must be immediately reachable.) Check the license of a doctor, registered nurse, or physician assistant at or by calling the California Department of Consumer Affairs toll-free at (800) 952-5210. Verify a doctor’s board certification via the American Board of Medical Specialties:
  2. Be fully informed about risks. All procedures carry risks, and conscientious practitioners will fully disclose them. Medical professionals have an ethical responsibility to be realistic with their patients and tell them about possible negative outcomes they might experience.
  3. Observe the facility and its personnel. While consumers can’t see germs, consumers can see if the facility looks clean and personnel wash their hands, use gloves, and use sound hygienic practices. Consumers witnessing unhygienic practices in medical spas should note the issues and bring those concerns to spa staff. If not addressed, consumers should reconsider being treated at this location and may file a complaint with MBC.
  4. Ask about complications and who is available to handle them. If you have an adverse reaction, you want to know who will be there to help. Who should you call, and what hospital or facility is available where the physician can see you? Qualified physicians will have a plan on how they will handle emergencies that arise.
  5. Don’t be swayed by low-price promises. If procedures are being offered at extremely low prices, there is a good possibility that what is being advertised is not what will be delivered. Unfortunately, there have been tragic cases of unscrupulous practitioners injecting their patients with counterfeit drugs that have caused critical illness, disfigurement, or death.

For more information on medical spas or to file a complaint about a physician, call MBC toll-free at (800) 633-2322 or visit, or contact the Osteopathic Medical Board of California at (916) 928-8390 or visit

Considering Getting A Gel Manicure?

Get Need-To-Know Information About Skin Protection

By Renee Santos
Consumer Connection staff

Gel manicures are popular for their longevity and durability. But did you know the drying lights used for these manicures emit potentially skin-damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays?

Gel Vs. Traditional Manicure

Gel manicures typically last longer than a classic manicure. The gel polish can stay on a consumer’s nails for up to two weeks and does not chip as easily as traditional polish. Instead of natural air-drying like a traditional manicure, gel manicures are dried and cured by placing the consumer’s hand under a UV light or lamp for 30 to 60 seconds following every coat of polish.

Protection Tips

Consumers can take simple skin-protecting precautions:

  • Before getting a gel manicure, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to hands.
  • Consider wearing dark, opaque fingerless gloves to protect hands and fingers.
  • Limit the number of gel manicures and opt for traditional polish.

UV Exposure Risks

UV exposure is harmful and can potentially lead to premature skin aging (such as wrinkles) and even skin cancer. Because the wattage of UV-drying lamps varies and produces different levels of radiation, as few as eight uses of a higher-wattage lamp may produce enough exposure to cause skin damage. Although the amount of UV radiation is not a serious concern, it is important for consumers to recognize that exposure is occurring.

While many salons are now using LED lights instead of UV lamps for gel manicures, these lights still emit a dose of UV radiation. Whether UV lamps or LED lights are used, it is important to recognize the health risks of both.

No matter the type of manicure, check the license of the manicurist performing the service and salon where the service is scheduled by visiting For more resources and information, visit the Board’s website at

California State Athletic Commission Seeks Boxer's Pension Claimants

Former Boxers Encouraged To Check If They Have A Pension Waiting To Be Claimed

By Peter Fournier
Consumer Connection staff

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) manages the only pension fund for boxers in the United States, offering a one-time payment distribution to former boxers who fought in California and meet California Professional Boxer’s Pension Fund requirements.

The pension was created by California law in 1982 to help provide funds for boxers in their later years. Currently, the fund totals more than $4.6 million. Since 1999, more than $4 million has been distributed to former boxers through the pension plan. Despite the Commission suffering a significant drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, pension distributions remained a priority with nearly $400,000 paid in 2022 alone.

“California has strived to be an industry leader in the fight game,” said CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster. “Although we can always do better, we are proud to have been the first commission in the country to take this step for fighters who have dedicated their lives to fight in the ring.”

CSAC strives to ensure every eligible former boxer or their beneficiary gets the pension they earned.

How Boxers Qualify

Boxers who fought in California can qualify for a pension distribution if:

  • They are at least 50 years old.
  • Fought in at least 10 rounds a year for four years in California with no more than a three-year break.
  • Fought in at least 75 scheduled professional rounds in California with no more than a three-year break.

When Pension Funds Can Be Claimed

  • When a boxer reaches age 50.
  • If a beneficiary of a boxer who is deceased prior to age 50 requests pension funds.
  • The former boxer is deceased and a beneficiary is claiming pension funds.
  • A boxer has retired from boxing and wishes to turn pension funds into an educational fund after the age of 36.

Former boxers who fought in CSAC-sanctioned fights and meet eligibility requirements should check the CSAC website to see if they have a pension waiting to be claimed. CSAC boxer’s pension plan webpage with a list of claimants is available at Boxers whose name appears on the claimants list can find additional instructions and forms on the CSAC website or can get in touch with CSAC via email,, or call (916) 263-2195. Former boxers who believe they are eligible but do not see their name on the list should get in touch with CSAC.

“We are forever grateful to any licensed boxers who stepped into the ring to not just compete for their own success but to entertain Californians for years. If someone is owed money, we want to do as much as possible to find these fighters,” Foster said. “We want to be fair to everybody.”

Assembly Bill 1136 (Haney, 2023), signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in October 2023, established the world’s first retirement benefit fund for mixed martial artists (MMA) who fight at events in California. Beginning in 2024, MMA fighters who fought in at least 39 scheduled rounds in a CSACsanctioned professional mixed martial art contest held in the state would be entitled to distribution of the funds when they are at least 50 years of age, with exceptions. Similar to the boxing fund, the MMA fund will not receive General Fund money.

“MMA promotions have seen immense growth in the past three decades, and those fighters/licensees who competed here deserve compensation in retirement, also,” Foster said.

For more information—including boxing pension application instructions and distribution request forms for former boxers— visit

Hinahanap Ng California State Athletic Commission Ang Mga Claimant Ng Pensiyon Ng Mga Boksingero

Hinikayat Ang Mga Dating Boksingero Na Tingnan Kung Mayroon Silang Nakaabang Na Pensiyong Makukuha

Ni Peter Fournier
Kawani ng Consumer Connection

Pinamamahalaan ng California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) ang nag-iisang pondong pampensiyon para sa mga boksingero sa Estados Unidos, na naglalaan ng isangbeses na pagbayad sa mga dating boksingero na lumaban sa California at nakatutugon sa mga kinakailangan para sa California Professional Boxer’s Pension Fund.

Ginawa ng batas ng California ang pensiyon noong 1982 upang makatulong sa paglalaan ng mga pondo para sa mga boksingero sa kanilang pagtanda. Sa kasalukuyan, ang kabuuang pondo ay higit $4.6 na milyon. Mula pa noong 1999, higit sa $4 na milyon ang naipamahagi sa mga dating boksingero sa pamamagitan ng planong pampensiyon. Sa kabila ng malaking pagbaba ng kita ng Komisyon noong panahon ng pandemya ng COVID-19, nanatiling priyoridad ang mga pamamahagi ng pensiyon na halos $400,000 na ang naibayad noong 2022 pa lamang.

"Nagsikap ang California na maging lider sa industriya ng larong labanan" sabi ni CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster. "Bagaman kaya naming mas pahusayin ang aming ginagawa, ipinagmamalaki namin na kami ang unang komisyon sa bansa na gumawa ng hakbang na ito para sa mga fighter na inialay ang kanilang buhay sa pagsabak sa ring."

Sinisikap ng CSAC na matiyak na makukuha ng bawat karapatdapat na dating boksingero o ng kanilang benepisyaryo ang pensiyon na kanilang kinita.

Paano Maging Kwalipikado Ang Mga Boksingero

Ang mga boksingerong lumaban sa California ay maaaring kuwalipikado na makatanggap ng pensiyon kung:

  • Sila ay 50 taong gulang pataas.
  • Nakipaglaban nang hindi bababa sa 10 round sa isang taon sa loob ng apat na taon sa California at na may hindi hihigit sa tatlong taong pagpapahinga.
  • Nakipaglaban nang hindi bababa sa 75 naka-iskedyul na mga propesyonal na round sa California at na may hindi hihigit sa tatlong taong pagpapahinga.

Kailan Maaaring Makuha Ang Mga Pondong Pampensiyon

  • Kapag umabot sa edad na 50 ang isang boksingero.
  • Kung hiniling ng benepisyaryo ang pondong pampensiyon ng isang boksingerong namatay bago umabot sa edad na 50.
  • Namatay ang dating boksingero at kukunin ng benepisyaryo ang pondong pampensiyon.
  • Nagretiro sa pagboboksing ang isang boksingero at nais gawing pondong pang-edukasyon ang mga pondong pampensiyon paglampas sa edad na 36.

Ang mga dating boksingero na sumabak sa mga labang pinahintulutan ng CSAC at nakasusunod sa mga kinakailangang kwalipikasyon ay dapat pumunta sa website ng CSAC upang makita kung mayroon silang nakaabang na pensiyong makukuha. Makikita ang webpage ng planong pampensiyon ng CSAC para sa mga boksingero na may listahan ng mga claimant sa Ang mga boksingero na ang pangalan ay kasama sa listahan ng mga claimant ay makakakita ng karagdagang mga tagubilin at form sa CSAC website o maaaring makipag-ugnayan sa CSAC sa pamamagitan ng pag-email sa csac@ o tumawag sa (916) 263-2195. Ang mga dating boksingero na naniniwalang sila ay karapat-dapat ngunit wala ang pangalan sa listahan ay dapat makipag-ugnayan sa CSAC.

"Walang hanggan ang aming pasasalamat sa sinumang lisensyadong boksingero na sumabak sa ring hindi lamang upang makipaglaban para sa kanilang sariling tagumpay ngunit para aliwin ang mga taga-California sa loob ng maraming taon. Kung may obligasyong bayarin sa tao na kailangang tuparin, hangga't maaari nais naming hanapin ang mga fighter na ito," sabi ni Foster. "Gusto naming maging makaturangan sa lahat.”

Ang Assembly Bill 1136 (Haney, 2023) na pinirmahan ni Gobernador Gavin Newsom nitong Oktubre 2023, ay nagtaguyod ng unang pondong benepisyo para sa pagreretiro sa buong mundo para sa mga mixed martial artists (MMA) na lumalaban sa mga kaganapan sa California. Simula noong 2024, ang mga MMA fighter na lumaban sa hindi bababa sa 39 na naka-iskedyul na round sa professional mixed martial art contest na inaprubahan ng CSAC at isinagawa sa estado ay may karapatan sa pamamahagi ng pondo kapag umabot sila sa hindi bababa sa 50 taong gulang, na may mga pagbubukod. Katulad ng pondo sa boxing, ang pondo ng MMA ay hindi makakatanggap ng Pangkalahatang Pondo na pera.

"Malaki ang naging pagsulong ng mga promosyon ng MMA sa nakalipas na tatlong dekada, at ang mga fighter/licensee na lumaban dito ay nararapat ding makatanggap ng kabayaran kapag nag-retiro," sabi ni Foster.

Para sa higit pang impormasyon—kabilang ang mga tagubilin sa pagapply para sa pensiyon sa boksing at mga distribution request form para sa mga dating boksingero—puntahan ang

Tume Ya Riadha Ya Jimbo La California Inawatafuta Wadai Wa Pensheni Ya Wanandondi

Wanandondi Hawa Wa Zamani Wanahimizwa Kuchunguza Ikiwa Wana Pensheni Ambayo Wanapaswa Kudai

Imeandikwa na Peter Fournier
Mfanyakazi wa Uunganishaji wa Watumiaji

Tume ya Riadha ya Jimbo la California (CSAC) inasimamia hazina ya kipekee ya pensheni ya wanandondi nchini Marekani, ikitoa mgao wa malipo wa mara moja kwa wanandondi wa zamani ambao walipigana katika jimbo la California na wanaotimiza mahitaji ya fedha za Pensheni za Wanandondi Wataalamu wa California.

Pensheni hii iliundwa na sheria ya California katika mwaka wa 1982 ili kusaidia kutoa fedha kwa wanandondi katika miaka yao ya baadaye. Kwa sasa, hazina hiyo ina jumla ya milioni $4.6 Tangu mwaka wa 1999, zaidi ya milioni $4 zimepeanwa kwa wanandondi wa zamani kupitia mpango wa pensheni. Licha ya Tume kukumbwa na punguzo kubwa la mapato wakati wa janga la COVID-19, wagawaji wa pensheni walisalia kuwa kipaumbele huku karibu $400,000 zikiwa zimelipwa katika mwaka wa 2022 pekee.

“California imejitahidi kuwa tasnia inayoongoza katika upambanaji huu,” alisema Afisa Mtendaji wa CSAC Andy Foster. "Ingawa tunaweza kuendelea kuwa bora zaidi, tunajivunia kuwa tume ya kwanza nchini kuchukua hatua hii ya wapiganiaji ambao wamejitolea kupigana katika ulingo."

CSAC hujitahidi kuhakikisha kwamba kila mwanandondi wa zamani anayestahiki au mfadhiliwa anapata pensheni aliyopaswa kupata.

Jinsi Ambayo Wanandondi Hustahiki

Wanandondi ambao walipigana katika jimbo la California wanaweza kustahiki kupata mgao wa pensheni ikiwa:

  • Wana umri wa angalau miaka 50.
  • Walipigana angalau mara 10 kwa mwaka kwa miaka minne wamekuwa California kwa muda wa mapumziko usiozidi miaka mitatu.
  • Walipigana katika angalau mara 75 za kitaaluma zilizopangwa wamekuwa California kwa muda wa mapumziko usiozidi miaka mitatu.

Waka Ti Ambao Fedha Za Kustaafu Zinaweza Kuitishwa

  • Mwanandondi akifikia umri wa miaka 50.
  • Ikiwa mfadhiliwa wa mwanandondi ambaye alikufa kabla ya kufikisha umri wa miaka 50 atatuma ombi la fedha za pensheni.
  • Ikiwa mwanandondi wa zamani amekufa na mfadhiliwa anadai fedha za pensheni.
  • Ikiwa mwanandondi atastaafu kutoka kwa kucheza mchezo wa ngumi na angependa kuzigeuza fedha zake za pensheni kuwa fedha za elimu baada ya Umri wa miaka 36.

Mwanandondi wa zamani ambaye alipigana mapambano yaliyoithinishwa na CSAC na anatimiza mahitaji ya kustahiki anapaswa kutazama tovuti ya CSAC ili kuona ikiwa ana pensheni inayosubiri kudaiwa. Ukurasa wa tovuti wa mpango wa pensheni wa wanandondi wa CSAC ulio na orodha ya wadai unapatikana kwenye Wanandondi ambao majina yao yanapatikana kwenye orodha ya wadai wanaweza kupata maagizo zaidi na fomu kwenye tovuti ya CSAC au wanaweza kuwasiliana na CSAC kupitia barua pepe au kupiga simu kwa nambari (916) 263-2195. Wanandondi wa zamani wanaoamini kwamba wanastahiki lakini hawaoni majina yao kwenye orodha wanapaswa kuwasiliana na CSAC.

"Daima tunashukuru sana kila mwanandondi aliye na leseni ambaye alijitokeza ulingoni sio tu kushindana kwa ushindi wao wenyewe bali kuwaburudisha watu wa California kwa miaka. Ikiwa mtu anadai pesa, tungependa kufanya tuwezavyo kuwatafuta wapiganaji hawa," Foster akasema.

Mswada wa Bunge la 1136 (Haney, 2023) uliotiwa sahihi na Gavana Gavin Newsom mnamo Oktoba 2023, ulianzisha hazina ya mafao ya kustaafu ya kwanza ulimwenguni ya mchanganyiko wa wasanii wa kijeshi (MMA) waliopigana katika matukio katika jimbo la California. Kuanzia mwaka wa 2024, wapiganaji wa MMA waliopigana katika angalau mara 39 zilizoratibiwa CSAC-shindano lililoidhinishwa la sanaa ya kijjeshi la kitaaluma lililofanyika jimboni lingekuwa na haki ya usambazaji wa fedha hizo wanapofikia umri wa angalau miaka 50, isipokuwa katika hali fulani. Sawa na hazina ya mdondi, hazina ya MMA haitapokea pesa za kawaida za hazina.

“Matangazo ya MMA yamechangia ukuaji katika miongo mitatu iliyopita na wapiganaji/wenye leseni hao ambao walishindana hapa pia wanastahili fidia wanapostaafu,” Foster akasema.

Kwa maelezo zaidi—ikijumuisha maagizo ya kutuma ombi na fomu za ugawaji wa pensheni ya ndondi kwa wanandondi wa zamani—tembelea

La Comisión Atlética Del Estado De California Busca Boxeadores Que Reclamen Su Pensión

Se Anima A Quienes Hayan Sido Boxeadores A Verificar Si Tienen Una Pensión Pendiente De Cobrar

Por Peter Fournier
Miembro del personal de Consumer Connection

La Comisión Atlética del Estado de California (CSAC) gestiona el único fondo de pensiones para boxeadores de Estados Unidos, que ofrece un pago único a exboxeadores que hayan luchado en California y que cumplan los requisitos de financiación de la Pensión de Boxeadores Profesionales de California.

La pensión fue creada por ley en California en 1982 para ayudar a proporcionar fondos a los boxeadores en sus últimos años. Actualmente, el fondo asciende a más de $4.6 millones. Desde 1999, se han distribuido más de $4 millones a exboxeadores a través del plan de pensiones. A pesar de que la Comisión sufrió un importante descenso de ingresos durante la pandemia de COVID-19, el reparto de pensiones siguió siendo una prioridad, con casi $400,000 pagados solo en 2022.

"California se ha esforzado por ser líder en el sector de la lucha", declaró Andy Foster, funcionario ejecutivo de la CSAC. "Aunque siempre podemos hacerlo mejor, estamos orgullosos de haber sido la primera comisión del país en dar este paso en favor de los luchadores que han dedicado su vida a pelear en el ring".

La CSAC se esfuerza por garantizar que todos los exboxeadores elegibles o sus beneficiarios reciban la pensión que se han ganado.

Cómo Califican Los Boxeadores

Los boxeadores que hayan luchado en California pueden optar a recibir una pensión si:

  • Tienen al menos 50 años.
  • Lucharon en al menos 10 asaltos al año durante cuatro años en California con una interrupción no superior a tres años.
  • Lucharon en al menos 75 asaltos profesionales programados en California con una interrupción no superior a tres años.

Cuándo Se Pueden Reclamar Los Fondos De Pensiones

  • Cuando un boxeador cumple 50 años.
  • Si un beneficiario de un boxeador fallecido antes de los 50 años solicita fondos de pensión.
  • El exboxeador ha fallecido y un beneficiario reclama los fondos de pensión.
  • Un boxeador se ha retirado del boxeo y desea convertir los fondos de su pensión en un fondo educativo a partir de los 36 años.

Los exboxeadores que hayan participado en combates sancionados por la CSAC y cumplan los requisitos de elegibilidad deben consultar el sitio web de la CSAC para comprobar si tienen una pensión pendiente de reclamación. La página web del plan de pensiones de los boxeadores de la CSAC con la lista de solicitantes está disponible en Los boxeadores cuyos nombres aparezcan en la lista de solicitantes pueden encontrar instrucciones y formularios adicionales en el sitio web de la CSAC o ponerse en contacto con la CSAC a través del correo electrónico o llamando al (916) 263-2195. Los exboxeadores que crean ser elegibles pero no vean su nombre en la lista deben ponerse en contacto con la CSAC.

"Estamos eternamente agradecidos a todos los boxeadores con licencia que subieron al ring no solo para competir por su propio éxito, sino para entretener a los californianos durante años. Si a alguien se le debe dinero, queremos hacer todo lo posible por encontrar a esos luchadores", dijo Foster. "Queremos ser justos con todo el mundo".

La propuesta legislativa 1136 de la Asamblea (Haney, 2023) firmada por el gobernador Gavin Newsom en octubre de 2023, estableció el primer fondo de prestaciones de jubilación del mundo para los deportistas de artes marciales mixtos (MMA) que luchan en eventos en California. A partir de 2024, los luchadores de MMA que hayan luchado en al menos 39 asaltos programados en una competencia profesional de artes marciales mixtas sancionada por CSAC y celebrada en el estado tendrán derecho a la distribución de los fondos cuando tengan al menos 50 años, con excepciones. Al igual que el fondo para boxeadores, el fondo de MMA no recibirá dinero del Fondo General.

"Las promociones de MMA han experimentado un inmenso crecimiento en las últimas tres décadas, y aquellos luchadores/personas que cuenten con licencia que compitieron aquí también merecen una compensación en su jubilación", declaró Foster.

Para obtener más información, (incluidas las instrucciones para solicitar una pensión de boxeo y los formularios de solicitud de distribución para exboxeadores) visite

Consult A Professional For The Most Effective Hearing Aids

Know Your Rights Of Recourse As A California Consumer

By Ryan Jones
Consumer Connection staff

Diminished hearing is a common problem for those getting older—and a critical one. Hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation and even depression. Hearing aids can be an invaluable solution, but many people can be hesitant to make such a big change. Getting the right hearing aids that are effective and comfortable can ease that anxiety. Follow these guidelines for the best results when considering hearing aids:

  • Get checked by a licensed hearing professional. Hearing loss may be caused by a variety of factors—simple ear wax build-up to more serious complications. While online or app-based hearing tests may be convenient, they may fail to detect individualized or serious hearing-loss issues. A licensed hearing professional can prescribe a hearing aid individualized to your needs or refer you to someone who can, including a licensed seller of over-the-counter devices. Be aware that some over-the-counter devices are limited in their ability to fine-tune adjustments to your specific needs.
  • Beware of misleading claims. Over-the-counter hearing aids may not be able to treat severe hearing loss. Hearing aids advertised as “FDA registered” are not necessarily “FDA approved.” “FDA registered” only means the company has registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and doesn’t mean that the FDA has approved a specific product.
  • Know your rights. If you are unhappy with your hearing aids, California law allows you to return them within 45 days of receipt for a full refund or exchange without any additional fees. The seller must provide you with a written statement with this information and the date of expiration for the return period. If a seller offers a longer return period, they must honor it.

Audiologists and hearing aid dispensers are licensed by the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board. For more resources about hearing loss, to look up a license, or to file a complaint against a hearing aid dispenser, visit If you believe you have purchased an over-the-counter hearing aid from a business that misrepresented its claims, file a complaint at

Pit Stop For Cleaner Air

Get To Know The Bureau Of Automotive Repair's Roadside Inspection Program

By Lana Wilson-Combs
Consumer Connection staff

The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) established the Roadside Inspection Program in the mid-1980s to evaluate the effectiveness of the California Smog Check Program in reducing motor vehicle emissions. Via roadside surveys of participating motorists, the program collects emissions information from motor vehicles operating on California roadways and compares the data to results from inspections performed by licensed Smog Check stations.

The 10-minute surveys are conducted with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in areas of the state with large vehicle populations and air quality issues. These include the Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, greater Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and San Diego. The surveys are performed by BAR staff, all of whom are Automotive Service Excellence-certified automotive technicians.

Participation in the survey is voluntary and the results do not impact the vehicle’s Smog Check record. Consumers who participate in the survey play a key role in helping Californians breathe cleaner air.

Vehicles are selected for the survey using an automated license plate reader. The consumer is stopped by a CHP officer and greeted by a BAR representative who provides them with information about the survey’s purpose and answers any questions they may have. The survey is performed in a manner similar to a Smog Check inspection and usually takes less than 10 minutes.

The survey does not take the place of a normal, biennially required Smog Check inspection. Participants are provided a Vehicle Inspection Report containing their vehicle’s survey results. The report may not be substituted for a vehicle’s official Smog Check inspection report issued by a licensed Smog Check station.

To find a Smog Check station or other BAR-licensed auto services near you, use BAR’s online Auto Shop Locator: To learn more about the Roadside Inspection Program, visit

Consumers Who Participate In The Survey Play A Key Role In Helping Californians Breathe Cleaner Air.

Water-Based Cremation Now Available In California

Hydrolysis Is The Latest State-Licensed Funeral Option, With Another On The Way

By Brady Oppenheim
Consumer Connection staff

California consumers passionate about “green” living may also want to consider a new environmentally friendly option for their final disposition: hydrolysis, more commonly known as water-based cremation. This is a new option for Californians in addition to traditional burial or cremation.

What Is Hydrolysis?

The hydrolysis process focuses on the basics—namely, reducing remains to their most basic elements through the use of water—without using materials or chemicals employed in a traditional burial. The process takes just hours to accomplish what would typically take the earth years to do following a traditional burial, without utilizing precious natural resources like wood and metal for a casket, or chemicals like formaldehyde for temporary preservation.

Similar to the use of fire for cremation, hydrolysis employs an engineered stainless-steel chamber to reduce remains to their essential organic components via water, an alkaline solution, heat, and pressure. The resulting sterile liquid—called “hydrolysate”—is removed from the hydrolysis chamber. Anything remaining in the chamber is processed by mechanical means to a consistency similar to cremated remains and can be placed in an urn.

Hydrolysis was approved in California via 2017 legislation, with licensure and regulatory program implementation by the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau (CFB) beginning in 2020. Following hydrolysis chamber approval by the California Department of Public Health and meeting regulatory requirements for a licensed manager to oversee and be responsible for the facility, California’s first licensed hydrolysis facility began operation in 2022.

Another Option On the Horizon

California recently passed legislation allowing another new “green” funeral option—the “reduction” of human remains— beginning January 2027. While the process is somewhat similar to hydrolysis, in lieu of hydrolyzed remains (which are typically received by loved ones in an urn), remains are reduced to approximately three cubic feet of soil that is still considered human remains. These remains can only be integrated in the soil in areas approved by the local county (for example, land conservation areas and other areas approved for scattering).

In addition to hydrolysis facilities—and eventually reduction facilities—CFB licenses, regulates, and investigates complaints against California funeral establishments, funeral directors, embalmers, apprentice embalmers, cemetery brokers, cemetery salespersons, cemetery managers, cremated remains disposers, crematories, crematory managers, and the nearly 200 fraternal and private cemeteries in the state. (Note: The Bureau doesn’t license cemeteries operated by religious organizations; cities, counties, or cemetery districts; the military; Native American tribal organizations; or other specified groups. Consumers unsure of who regulates a cemetery should ask the cemetery manager.) For information and assistance, call CFB at (916) 574-7870 or visit

Cemetery and Funeral Bureau Consumer Guide Helps You Plan Ahead

CFB has updated its consumer guide with the latest information on all current state-licensed funeral options and services, including hydrolysis. The guide helps consumers ask the right questions, compare prices and services, make informed decisions, and make meaningful arrangements while controlling costs. Download the guide, also available in Spanish, at (click on “Consumers”) and be sure to share your funeral preferences with loved ones.

Strengthening Consumer Protection In Real Estate Appraisals

The Fair Appraisal Act Protects California Homeowners

By Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Consumer Connection staff

The mission of the Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers (BREA) is to ensure and safeguard public trust with professionalism and integrity in the real estate appraisal industry through licensing, education, and enforcement.

That’s why BREA has further strengthened its consumer protection efforts by implementing requirements for the Fair Appraisal Act (Assembly Bill 948, Holden, Statutes of 2021).

Under the law, the state aims to prevent discrimination during the real estate appraisal process. The law prohibits real estate appraisers from bringing negative influences of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, source of income, sexual orientation, familial status, employment status, or military status of either the present or prospective owners or occupants of the subject property, or of the present owners or occupants of the properties in the vicinity of the subject property, or on any other basis prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act.

The bill also outlines cultural competency educational requirements for applicants and licensees. Licensees who wish to renew or restore a license also have new elimination-of-bias training requirements.

In addition, BREA augmented its complaint procedures by providing the ability for consumers to voluntarily provide certain demographic information when submitting a complaint. The Bureau also placed on its existing complaint form the option for complainants to indicate they believe their property was appraised below market value. The law requires all residential sales contracts to include a notice stating that any appraisal of the property is unbiased.

Consumer protection is a top priority for the Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers. California consumers with concerns or complaints about a real estate appraiser are encouraged to contact the Bureau and file a complaint online or by calling (916) 552-9000.

For more information about BREA, visit

New Educational Requirements For Real Estate Appraisers Are In Effect

As part of the Fair Appraisal Act and actions to strengthen consumer protections during the real estate appraisal process, there are new educational requirements for BREA initial applicants and current licensees, effective January 1, 2023:

Initial Applicants

Minimum of at least:

  • One hour of cultural competencya

Licensee At Time Of Renewal Every Four Years

Minimum of at least:

  • One hour of cultural competency
  • Two hours of elimination of bias

  • Licensees who are on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice cycle (USPAP) can take the course, but it is not mandated for that renewal cycle.
  • Licensees still must obtain 56 hours of required continuing education within a four-year cycle. At least three of those hours must be in elimination of bias and cultural competency.
  • Licensees must take the two courses or one combined course every four years. Please note, some course providers are offering the course as a three-hour combined course, but it may be offered separately as well.

For more information about BREA or new educational requirements, visit

Executive Spotlight

Justin Paddock
Chief, Bureau of Household Goods And Services

ustin R. Paddock was recently appointed bureau chief of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS).

Paddock had previously been chief of licensing and examinations at the Contractors State License Board since 2018. He was an attorney at Shaw Law Group from 2017 to 2018, and a lobbyist at the California Association of Realtors in 2017. He also was chief of the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (now known as BHGS) from 2015 to 2017, and assistant deputy director of legislative and regulatory review at DCA from 2013 to 2015.

Paddock earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law.

What Is Your Vision For The Bureau?

To protect consumers repairing phones and refrigerators; buying furniture, bedding, and thermal insulation; and moving their personal belongings to a new home.

What Is Your Biggest Challenge?

To keep up with changing industries and making sure our rules are appropriate for the current marketplace and trends.

What Has Your Bureau Done Recently That Makes You Especially Proud?

We recently referred a record number of cases to the California Attorney General’s Office for disciplinary action.

What Would You Like Consumers To Know About The Bureau?

We are here to help them, whether that’s to find lost heirlooms, mediate a repair that has gone wrong, or make sure they know what type of product they’re really getting, including protection plans for those products.

Why Is Your Bureau Important To Californians And Consumer Protection?

We can help make consumers whole who have been in a bad situation. In one of our more extreme cases, staff was able to return the remains of a loved one that were lost on a household move.

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Work on keeping perspective about difficult situations. In other words, not everything is a crisis. It’s easy to say but harder to do in the moment

Erika Calderon
Executive Officer, Osteopathic Medical Board Of California

Erika Calderon was appointed as executive officer of the Osteopathic Medical Board of California (OMBC), effective November 1, 2022.

For more than 12 years, Calderon has served DCA in various roles. She most recently held the position of Staff Services Manager I for the Consumer Protection Services (CPS) unit at the Physical Therapy Board of California (PTBC). In this role, she was responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the CPS unit, among additional responsibilities, in support of PTBC’s goals, objectives, and mission.

What Is Your Vision For the Board?

My vision for OMBC is aligned with the strategic goals set by the Board: to uphold the highest standards of quality and care by our osteopathic physicians and surgeons; continuing to utilize technology and innovation to enhance and deliver an outstanding level of service to the profession; and uphold our mission of consumer protection. My vision is also to strive to attain meaningful operational improvements daily so we can provide greater service to our physicians, our consumers, and all other stakeholders.

What Is Your Biggest Challenge?

Osteopathic physicians and surgeons are one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals, with California now having the largest practicing osteopathic population in the United States. Nationally, the osteopathic medical profession has grown 300% over the past three decades and 63% in the past decade. The biggest challenge is keeping up with this rapid growth with current limited resources.

What Has Your Bureau Done Recently That Makes You Especially Proud?

The Board just underwent an entire Board reorganization. The Board is now composed of an Administrative Services Unit, a Licensing Unit, and an Enforcement Unit. We are working diligently to streamline both the application services and enforcement processes. We created social media accounts to improve outreach efforts and started the process of updating our disciplinary guidelines.

What Would You Like Consumers To Know About OMBC?

I would like consumers to know how extraordinary our osteopathic physicians and surgeons (D.O.s) are. As licensed physicians, they diagnose, treat, prescribe medications, and perform surgery. D.O.s are trained to focus on the whole person, working in partnership with patients to help them achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.

Why Is Your Board Important To Californians And Consumer Protection?

Californians are fortunate to have the largest population nationally of osteopathic physicians and surgeons. It is important to have this profession as an option, as more and more people are looking into holistic approaches for their health care needs. It is also extremely important to know that the Board is here as a safeguard to regulate the profession and ensure public safety.

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Believe in your abilities, your willpower, and your strength. You will never be perfect at everything you do, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Always do the right thing and let your heart guide you; don’t regret anything you do; every mistake is a learning opportunity. Take everything that comes your way with a smile.


Check In With Friends: It Matters More Than You Think

New research suggests that a brief call, text, or email to a friend just to say “hello” matters more than we might realize. And the more unexpected the contact, the greater the appreciation, according to study results published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

“There is much research showing that maintaining social connections is good for our mental and physical health,” said the study’s lead author Peggy Liu, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, in a news release. “However, despite the importance and enjoyment of social connection, our research suggests that people significantly underestimate how much others will appreciate being reached out to.”

The study adds to the growing body of research suggesting that social connections—even small ones— benefit our well-being and longevity.

So, why not take a few seconds right now to text a friend? You’ll both feel better.

Reaching out is important, especially if you’re in crisis. CalHOPE Connect can help: Its warmline is available for calls 24/7 at (833) 317-HOPE (4673). CalHOPE Connect is made possible by the California Mental Health Services Authority, the California Department of Health Care Services, and local mental health providers. You can also verify a licensed mental health professional’s license at

Laurel Goddard

Keeping Its Eye On The Mission

The California State Board of Optometry has protected consumers for 120 years.

For more than a century, the Board has regulated eye care in the Golden State with the goals of protecting consumers and providing the best possible care to patients.

California’s Optometry Act of 1903 ushered in a new chapter for consumers on the growing West Coast, making the state one of only three at the time to pass a law recognizing optometry as a certified profession. An updated Optometry Practice Act was passed in 1913 creating the current Board and specified its power and duties, along with penalties for Act violations.

In 1923, the Board shared the first rule for optometry practice, which required licensee applicants to graduate from an accredited school or college of optometry. More than 100 years later, optometrists, opticians, and other ophthalmologybased careers are licensed through the Board.

Today’s technology has allowed for easier license application as well as access to consumer resources. In addition to published brochures, the Board’s website——has information available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Click on the website’s “Consumer” tab to file a complaint, to learn about the Board’s enforcement program, and learn more about the practice of optometry. Licensees can choose the “Optometrist” or “Optician” tab for specific information on licensing and the application process.

For more information, click on the “Forms and Publications” tab for resources like newsletters, enforcement, events, laws and regulations, president’s messages, and much more.

Peter Fournier

Looking For A Licensed Naturopathic Doctor?

Naturopathic medicine is a type of primary health care that uses natural methods to heal or treat the body, and can benefit people who prefer a natural approach to their health care.

Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) are required to be licensed and regulated by the California Board of Naturopathic Medicine (formerly known as the Naturopathic Medicine Committee until January 1, 2023). Finding a licensee where you live is easy. You can access a list of N.D.s, view their public records, and check if their license is valid and in good standing by using DCA’s license search tool at

The Board recommends asking your insurance provider about coverage or reimbursement. If your insurance does not cover naturopathic medical care, using a health savings account or flexible spending account may be an option.

To learn more about the Board and naturopathic care, visit

Renee Santos

DCA Releases Latest Annual Report

The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Fiscal Year 2021–22 Annual Report is now available.

The newly redesigned report highlights DCA’s achievements over the past fiscal year while carrying out its consumerprotection mission, including each DCA entity’s accomplishments, new laws and regulations, and statistical information. It includes a summary of enforcement activity for each entity with totals for complaint intakes, investigations, disciplinary actions, fines and citations issued, as well as cost-recovery totals and restitution, refunds, or savings to consumers, and more.

Plus, in keeping with new legislation, the report now also highlights licensure statistics for active-duty military members, veterans, and military spouses, including totals for expedited and temporary licenses, renewal waivers, licenses granted, and more.

Find out more about all that DCA is and does: Download the report on DCA’s website at under the “Publications” tab.

Laurel Goddard

Storm Damage? Don't Get Scammed

Following storms that battered much of California this past winter, many Californians found themselves in need of a contractor. But—with unscrupulous and unlicensed contractors eager to capitalize on Californians’ misfortunes any time of year— the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is warning consumers not to hire just anyone to make repairs.

CSLB recommends consumers go online to its Find My Licensed Contractor feature at (click on the “Online Services” tab) to download or print a list of qualified licensed contractors. Consumers can check the license number of their contractor using CSLB’s Instant License Check, also found under the “Online Services” website tab.

In California, a CSLB contractor license is required for any home improvement project valued at more than $500 in labor and/or materials. Those caught working without a license can be fined up to $10,000.

When hiring a contractor, follow the tips from CSLB on page 8 of this magazine.

Consumers aware of unlicensed or illegal contracting activity should contact CSLB immediately: Call toll-free (800) 321-CSLB (2752) for assistance.

CSLB offers online resources, and coordinates and participates in consumer outreach events across the state. For more information, visit CSLB online at, or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Lana Wilson-Combs

New Logo Encompasses DCA's Consumer-Protection Mission

At the beginning of 2023, the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) unveiled a new logo inspired by the Department’s vision: “Together, protecting California consumers.”

Displaying the official state colors—blue and gold—the logo features a shield symbolizing DCA’s strong and longstanding consumer protection mandate, an outline of the state representing the 40 million Californians DCA has pledged to serve, and a star representing consumer protection as the Department’s true guiding principle: its own North Star.

The new DCA logo reflects the Department’s next chapter, accompanied by a new strategic plan. Running through 2027, the strategic plan serves as a touchstone for all facets of daily DCA operations:

  • Policy and advocacy
  • Organizational effectiveness
  • Enforcement
  • Communications
  • Technology
  • Licensing

The full logo transition process is anticipated to take a year for implementation. During the transition, existing licensing documents with the old DCA logo—such as wall licenses—will be valid and will not require replacement or updating.

For more information on DCA’s new logo and strategic plan, including logo resources in multiple languages, visit

Peter Fournier

Search For Termite Inspection Info Before Buying A Home

The Structural Pest Control Board’s (SPCB) Wood Destroying Organism System offers an online property address search tool to determine if a home was inspected for wood-destroying pests and organisms (WDO) or termites within the last two years and is on file with SPCB. Most lending institutions require homes in California to be inspected for termites before financing a home loan. You can search for any property in California by visiting

Due to the amount of damage that termites can cause, it is advised to obtain a termite inspection before purchasing a property.

If you think the home you are purchasing has termites, hire a professional pest control company to carry out the inspection. Before making an appointment, make sure the company is registered, licensed, and in good standing with SPCB by visiting or calling the SPCB Enforcement Unit at (916) 561-8704.

Renee Santos

DCA educates, engages, and empowers California consumers through social media. Follow DCA today!







Licensee Briefs

Health Care Licensees: Help Shape The Future Of California's Workforce

The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is partnering with the Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) to collect health workforce data through a survey of licensed health care professionals during the electronic licensure renewal process. The data will shape the future of California health workforce policy. HCAI’s California Health Workforce Research Data Center will collect, analyze, and distribute information on educational and employment trends for health care occupations in the state and develop an annual report highlighting:

  • Workforce supply and demand, geographical distribution, and diversity by specialty (including race, ethnicity, and languages spoken).
  • Worker demand by specialty.
  • Educational capacity to produce trained, certified, and licensed health care workers, by specialty, and by geographical distribution.

For more information about the survey, visit DCA health care licensees should contact their licensing entity directly for questions about the electronic renewal process.

Laural Goddard

Providing Court Reporting Services? New Registration Requirements Are In Effect

Effective July 1, 2022, all nonlicenseeowned entities providing court reporting services in California must register with the Court Reporters Board of California and designate a California licensed certified shorthand reporter to be their reporter-in-charge (per Senate Bill 241, Umberg, Chapter 214, Statutes of 2021).

Firms not owned by licensees must be approved for registration by the Board after meeting specified requirements and paying a $500 annual registration fee.

All registered nonlicensee-owned entities will be under the Board’s jurisdiction and on a list available on the Board’s website. Visit for more information and an FAQ. If you need the services of a court reporter, make sure they are licensed. Verify a license or a firm’s registration status at

Laurel Goddard

Reach Out

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and serves California consumers. DCA accomplishes this by administering more than 3.4 million licenses in more than 280 license types, including permits, certificates, and registrations through the licensing and regulatory entities under its jurisdiction. DCA provides consumers with current license status information on the millions of professionals licensed or certified through its entities. To check professionals’ licenses, visit To report concerns about a licensed professional or to find out more about a profession, contact one of the many DCA entities listed below.

Accountancy, California Board Of

2450 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 300

Sacramento, CA 95833

(916) 263-3680

Acupuncture Board

1625 North Market Blvd.,

Suite N-219

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 515-5200

Arbitration Certification Program

1625 North Market Blvd.,

Suite N-112

Sacramento, CA 95834

Toll-free: (800) 952-5210

(916) 574-7350

Architects Board, California

2420 Del Paso Road, Suite 105

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 574-7220

Athletic Commission, California State

2005 Evergreen St., Suite 2010

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 263-2195

TTY: (800) 326-2297

Automotive Repair, Bureau Of

10949 North Mather Blvd.

Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Toll-free: (800) 952-5210

Barbering And Cosmetology, Board Of

2420 Del Paso Road, Suite 100

Sacramento, CA 95834

Toll-free: (800) 952-5210

Behavioral Sciences, Board Of

1625 North Market Blvd.,

Suite S-200

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 574-7830

Cemetery And Funeral Bureau

1625 North Market Blvd.,

Suite S-208

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 574-7870

Toll-free: (800) 952-5210

Chiropractic Examiners, Board Of

1625 North Market Blvd.,

Suite N-327

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 263-5355

Toll-free: (866) 543-1311

Contractors State License Board

9821 Business Park Drive

Sacramento, CA 95827

(916) 255-3900

Toll-free: (800) 321-2752

Court Reporters Board Of California

2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 230

Sacramento, CA 95833

(916) 263-3660

Toll-free: (877) 327-5272


Dental Board Of California

2005 Evergreen St., Suite 1550

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 263-2300

Toll-free: (877) 729-7789

Dental Hygiene Board Of California

2005 Evergreen St., Suite 2050

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 263-1978

Household Goods And Services, Bureau Of

4244 South Market Court, Suite D

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 999-2041

Landscape Architects Technical Committee

2420 Del Paso Road, Suite 105

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 575-7230

Medical Board Of California

2005 Evergreen St., Suite 1200

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 263-2382

Toll-free: (800) 633-2322

Naturopathic Medicine Committee

1300 National Drive, Suite 150

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 928-4785

Occupational Therapy, California Board Of

1610 Arden Way, Suite 121

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 263-2294

Optometry, California State Board Of

2450 Del Paso Road, Suite 105

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 575-7170

Toll-free: (866) 585-2666

Osteopathic Medical Board Of California

1300 National Drive, Suite 150

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 928-8390

Pharmacy, California State Board Of

2720 Gateway Oaks Drive,

Suite 100

Sacramento, CA 95833

(916) 518-3100

Physical Therapy Board Of California

2005 Evergreen St., Suite 2600

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 561-8200

Physician Assistant Board

2005 Evergreen St., Suite 2250

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 561-8780

Podiatric Medical Board Of California

2005 Evergreen St., Suite 1300

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 263-2647

Private Postsecondary Education, Bureau For

1747 North Market Blvd., Suite 225,

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 574-8900

Toll-free: (888) 370-7589

Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, And Geologists, Board For

2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 300

Sacramento, CA 95833

(916) 263-2222

Toll-free: (866) 780-5370

Professional Fiduciaries Bureau

1625 North Market Blvd.,

Suite S-209

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 574-7340

Psychology, Board Of

1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N-215

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 574-7720

Toll-free: (866) 503-3221

Real Estate Appraisers, Bureau Of

3075 Prospect Park Drive, Suite 190

Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

(916) 552-9000

Registered Nursing, Board Of

1747 North Market Blvd., Suite 150

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 322-3350

TTY: (800) 326-2297

Respiratory Care Board Of California

3750 Rosin Court, Suite 100

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 999-2190

Toll-free: (866) 375-0386

Security And Investigative Services, Bureau Of

2420 Del Paso Road, Suite 270

Sacramento, CA 95834

(916) 322-4000

Toll-free: (800) 952-5210

Speech-Language Pathology And Audiology And Hearing Aid Dispensers Board

1601 Response Road, Suite 260

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 287-7915

Structural Pest Control Board

2005 Evergreen St., Suite 1500

Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 561-8708

Toll-free: (800) 737-8188

Student Assistance And Relief, Office Of

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 980818

West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818

Physical address:

1625 North Market Blvd.,

Suite N-327

Sacramento, CA 95834

Toll-free: (888) 370-7589

Veterinary Medical Board

1747 North Market Blvd., Suite 230

Sacramento, CA 95834-2987

(916) 515-5220

Toll-free: (866) 229-0170

Vocational Nursing And Psychiatric Technicians, Board Of

2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 205

Sacramento, CA 95833

(916) 263-7800

Like this magazine? Subscribe for free!

If you’d like to have upcoming issues of Consumer Connection magazine mailed to you automatically at no charge, please email your name, mailing address, and phone number to You can also order online at or call (866) 320-8652 to subscribe or request specific editions. Community-based groups may request multiple copies subject to inventory.

California Department of Consumer Affairs

Office of Publications, Design and Editing

1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N-323

Sacramento, CA 95834