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Enforcement Plan

Also see TDLR's Complaint Investigation and Resolution Process

This enforcement plan is established by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation pursuant to the Texas Occupations Code, §51.302(c). This plan describes the specific ranges of penalties and license sanctions that apply to specific alleged violations of the statutes and rules enforced by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (hereinafter “TDLR” or “the Department”). This plan also presents the criteria that are considered by the Department’s Enforcement staff in determining the amount of an administrative penalty or the magnitude of a sanction to be pursued.

I. Content of the Enforcement Plan

The enforcement plan contains a separate segment for each type of person or entity regulated by TDLR. For example, under the Elevator statute, there are three types of regulated persons/entities: building owners, elevator inspectors, and elevator contractors. Therefore, this plan contains three segments related to the Elevator statute: one for building owners, one for inspectors, and one for contractors.

Each segment of the plan contains a brief description of each individual violation that may be committed by the regulated person or entity, a citation to the statute and rule provision for each violation, and a range of penalties and/or sanctions applicable to each violation. The violations are organized into classes, typically three to five classes, which denote the relative seriousness of the offenses. A range of penalties and sanctions is presented for each class of violation. Specifically, a range is presented for the first, second, and third occurrence of each class of violation. For purposes of this plan, a previous complaint alleging a violation of the statute or rules is counted as a “violation” only if it resulted in a formal disciplinary action by the Department: an Agreed Order, a Final Order, or a Reprimand.

The administrative penalty amounts presented for each class of violation will be pursued on a “per violation” basis. In other words, if a Respondent commits three violations of the same class, they will be subject to a maximum penalty of three times the highest dollar amount specified in the range.

Where both a penalty and a sanction are provided, a connector of “and/or” indicates that the Department has discretion to pursue only a penalty, only a sanction, or both a penalty and a sanction. A connector of “plus” indicates that the Department is expected to pursue both a penalty and a sanction.

Where the sanction of “revocation” is provided, the Department will read this to also authorize denial of an original license application or renewal application, to the extent denial authority exists in the law.

II. Statutes and Rules Referenced in the Enforcement Plan

This enforcement plan conforms with the statutes and rules currently in effect on the date the plan is published. The plan will be revised periodically to reflect changes in statutes and rules. The majority of the violations referenced in the plan will arise from the statute and rules specific to that program. A general citation to the program statute and rules has been provided at the top of the matrix for each individual program. The plan also contains some references to violations arising under TDLR’s enabling statute, Chapter 51 of the Occupations Code, and the rules attendant to that statute, Title 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 60.

While this plan is intended to present a fairly comprehensive list of the violations that may be committed under the current statutes and rules, the plan does not in any way restrict or limit the Department’s authority to pursue violations that may have been omitted from the plan.

III. Applicability of the Enforcement Plan

The purpose of the enforcement plan is to establish a structure within which TDLR’s prosecuting attorneys will make decisions about the relief to be sought in their cases. The plan is not binding upon the Commission and Executive Director when acting as the final decision-makers in contested cases. The Commission and Executive Director are bound only by the limits of the law, specifically, Chapter 51 of the Texas Occupations Code and the individual program statutes administered by TDLR.

TDLR’s prosecuting attorneys are generally expected to seek penalties and sanctions that are within the ranges presented in this plan. Pursuit of a penalty or sanction outside the stated range is permitted only with the express approval of the Department’s Director of Enforcement, when exceptional circumstances warrant a departure from the plan.

IV. Factors to be Considered by the Department

In determining the amount of a proposed administrative penalty or the degree of a proposed sanction to be assessed within the ranges presented, the Department will consider the following factors:

(1) The severity or seriousness of the violation.

(2) Whether the violation was willful or intentional.

(3) Whether the Respondent acted in good faith to avoid or mitigate the violation, or to correct the violation after it became apparent.

(4) Whether the Respondent has engaged in similar violations in the past.

(5) The level of penalty or sanction necessary to deter future violations.

(6) Any other matter that justice may require.

The specific ranges of penalties and license sanctions for each type of person or entity regulated by TDLR are listed below.