Brandon Gribben

Seattle Hearing Examiner Rules Against the City’s Proposed Legislation to Allow Construction of More Backyard Cottages and Mother-in-Law Apartments in Single Family Zones

Land Use, Real Estate

On December 13, 2016, the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner ruled that the City of Seattle must perform an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before moving forward with proposed legislation that would ease restrictions on the construction of accessory dwelling units and detached accessory dwelling units.  Accessory dwelling units, commonly referred to as ADUs or mother-in-law apartments, […]

Karen Kalzer

EEOC Issues Workplace Guidance for Addressing Mental Health Conditions


On December 12, 2016 the EEOC issued new guidance to covered employers regarding accommodating mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The new guidance makes clear that the EEOC regards certain mental health conditions as easily qualifying for a duty of reasonable accommodations.  These qualifying conditions include: major Depression, Post Traumatic Stress […]

Michael Spence

PLIA Announces New Revolving Loan and Grant Program for Contaminated Commercial Properties

Environmental, Real Estate

The Washington State Pollution Liability Insurance Agency (PLIA) has just announced a new revolving loan and grant program under which low interest loans of up to $2 million are available to install, retrofit, close or clean up underground storage tanks (UST’s) on contaminated commercial properties.  The grant or loan can be used on any site […]

Karen Kalzer

Reminder – New DOL Overtime Rules NOT in Effect


Helsell Fetterman wishes to remind all clients that the new regulations scheduled to go into effect today, December 1, WILL NOT go into effect today.  A Federal Judge in Texas issued an injunction last week blocking the implementation.  This injunction is nationwide.  It is unclear whether the regulations will be revived given the current political […]

The SEC Wants to Look at Your Severance Agreements (and more)….


Publically traded companies that are subject to the Dodd-Frank Act should be aware of recent compliance actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The ‘Securities Whistle Blower Incentives and Protection’ section of Dodd-Frank was adopted in 2011, but just last month the SEC issued a compliance warning after initiating a cease-and-desist action against one company.  […]

Ironic? Obama Appointee Stops New Overtime Rule


Surprise! On November 22, 2016, Federal Judge Amos Mazzant issued a nationwide injunction against the new Department of Labor Overtime Rules.  Scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016, the new rules increased the salary basis necessary to classify employees as exempt from being paid overtime.  To be exempt, employees must meet BOTH the salary […]

Does the NLRA Protect “Negative Attitudes” in the Workplace?


On November 3rd, a former employee of Trader Joe’s filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board Regional Office in New York for violating the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Trader Joe’s alleged unfair labor practice?  Firing an employee who had been repeatedly warned about his overly negative attitude.  This Trader Joe’s store is […]

Emma Kazaryan

Defeat of the Non-Compete


When I was in high school, I worked part-time at a clothing store that had a fantastic employee discount.  How great would it be, high-school-me mused, to capitalize on employee discounts at all my favorite stores by getting several jobs at the mall.  There was only one problem: when I started my job at the […]