The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) regulates and licenses dozens of occupations through its governing board, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation. In addition, this agency provides oversight and handles complaints for a broad range of occupations. The goal of this agency is to protect the health and safety of citizens who use services from those working in these occupations.
Programs that TDLR Licenses and Regulates
The programs that TDLR licenses and regulates are extensive and cover a wide range of occupations. Some of the occupations regulated are technical services, such as:
- Air conditioning and refrigeration workers
- Elevator and escalator safety workers
- Water well drillers and pump installers
Other occupations provide personal services to clients, such as:
- Athletic trainers
- Barbers, laser hair removal technicians, and massage therapists
TDLR also regulates and licenses some professionals, including:
- Behavior analysts
- Dyslexia therapists
- Orthotists and prosthetists
- Speech-language pathologists and audiologists
- Hearing instrument fitters and dispensers
Some occupations are related to the legal system, such as:
- Court-ordered responsible pet owner education program providers
- Driver education and safety instructors
- Code enforcement officers
- Motorcycle and ATV operator safety instructors
- Polygraph examiners
- Offender education programs operators
Other occupations governed by TDLR include architectural barrier workers, auctioneers, boiler safety workers, combative sports instructors, industrialized housing and buildings workers, licensed breeders, mold assessors and remediators, and professional employer organizations. Also included under TDLR’s jurisdiction are property tax consultants and professionals, sanitarians, contract service providers, tow truck operators, vehicle storage facilities operators, transportation network companies, used automotive parts recyclers, water well drillers and pump installers, and weather modification workers.
Licenses, Criminal History, and the TDLR
TDLR licenses individuals to work in these varied occupations. As part of that responsibility, TDLR can deny licenses to those with criminal backgrounds in some cases. As a result, you can request a criminal history evaluation letter to determine your eligibility for an occupational license in any of the occupations that TDLR regulates.
Furthermore, the TDLR also can suspend or revoke a person’s occupational license if they have been convicted of certain criminal offenses or have a deferred adjudication that qualifies as one of these offenses. These criminal offenses include:
- Offenses that directly relate to the duties and responsibilities of the licensed occupation, based on the following factors:
- The nature and severity of the crime
- The relationship of the crime to the purposes for requiring the occupation to be licensed
- The extent to which a license might offer the licensee the opportunity for additional criminal activities of the same type
- The relationship of the crime to the capacity or the ability that a person needs to perform the duties and responsibilities of the occupation
- Any correlation between the elements of the crime and the duties and responsibilities of the licensed occupation
- Various offenses involving violence toward others
- Aggravated robbery, burglary, and manufacture or delivery of certain controlled substances
- Various sex crimes
- Sexually violent offenses
Furthermore, imprisonment on a felony conviction generally will result in a revocation of an occupational license issued by TDLR. However, TDLR only takes these disciplinary actions after considering several different factors surrounding each situation.
The TDLR Complaint Process
The TDLR handles complaints against individuals who are providing services in these areas who are unlicensed. They also handle complaints against licensed individuals in the occupations that they regulate. Having an attorney represent you from the beginning of any disciplinary proceedings concerning a complaint can be essential to a positive outcome and your ability to remain licensed in your occupation.
TLDR processes complaints according to the procedures set out in 16 Tex. Admin. Code §60.200. Generally, TLDR will only accept complaints filed within two years of the incident that is the subject of the complaint. However, the TLDR can accept complaints after that deadline if the complainant can show good cause for the late filing.
The licensee and TLDR can agree to resolve a complaint at any point during the administrative proceedings by stipulation, agreed settlement, or consent order. The parties also can agree to submit to mediation to try and resolve the complaint. The Commission then can adopt, reject, or take other action on the agreement as it finds appropriate.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement on the disposition of the complaint, the case goes to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) for resolution. After hearing the case, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) assigned will submit a proposed decision to the Commission. Only the Commission, the Executive Director, or both, can sign and issue a final order in the case.
Defend Your Occupational License Today
If you are facing an investigation by TDLR, you need assistance in defending yourself and your license from the severe consequences of formal discipline. At Bertolino, LLP, we offer experienced license defense services for individuals involved in various occupations governed by TDLR. Contact us today by calling (512) 515-9518 or reaching out to us online. We can examine your case and help you devise the legal strategy that is best designed to safeguard your occupational or professional license.