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March 19th, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Workers and Businesses UPDATED 4/1/2020 With rapidly changing public health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are also ever-changing responses to address issues impacting businesses and workers.  See below for General Information, Business Operations, Accessing Benefits, New Legislation & Benefits, and Taxes. General Information WA State:  There is a WA state government…

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March 3rd, 2020

Residential landlords can request various fees or deposits from a potential tenant, including fees for obtaining a background check and a deposit to hold a unit. Under Washington’s residential landlord-tenant act, a residential landlord has certain duties regarding deposits. The following is an overview of deposits and information that landlords should be aware of when…

February 21st, 2020

Esther Hyun, Michael Kleps, Catherine Moore & Bryan Page have been selected to the 2020 Washington Rising Star list.  Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service…

January 15th, 2020

Chong Yim v. City of Seattle, –Wn.2d–, 451 P.3d 675 (2019), also called Yim I, made headlines for its holding that Seattle’s first-in-time rule, which required landlords to rent to the first qualified applicant, was not facially unconstitutional. But it also made a huge change to Washington regulatory takings law by adopting the federal definition of regulatory takings…

December 30th, 2019

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries recently overhauled the state’s rules governing overtime pay. As a result, the Department of Labor & Industries estimates 259,099 workers in Washington will become eligible for overtime pay once the new rules are fully implemented in 2028. The new changes will affect employees, especially those that are…

November 14th, 2019

Unfortunately, in the early 1900s, racially restrictive covenants were recorded against properties. This happened even in Washington. Whatcom County was not immune from this behavior. Some covenants would single out particular races of people that were excluded from owning or occupying the property. Others would limit ownership or occupation to one particular race. Sometimes, restrictions…

September 25th, 2019

Bellingham and Whatcom County are full of nonprofit service opportunities, including one our firm regularly supports and on whose Board I currently serve:  civil legal aid through LAW Advocates. I am frequently asked about nonprofit corporate board service and see issues arise when individuals don’t know what legal duties and responsibilities they have on a…

August 27th, 2019

When applying for Medicaid for yourself or on behalf of your spouse, it can be easy to forget that life insurance is an important asset that can impact financial eligibility. Generally speaking, term life insurance is an exempt resource and doesn’t count toward the Medicaid resource limits (the $2,000 resource limit for the applicant and,…

August 19th, 2019

Michael Kleps practices in the areas of Wills, Trusts, Estates and Elder Law. He is back full time at Carmichael Clark, P.S. after a nine month sailing adventure on the east coast US, Bahamas and Cuba. His family found living and traveling on a 30’ sailboat to have quite a learning curve between keeping an…

July 24th, 2019

The City of Bellingham’s new short-term rental (“STR”) ordinance became effective on May 5, 2019. BMC 20.10.037. It places restrictions on the rental of rooms, accessory dwelling units, and homes on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. The City has created a helpful website describing the new regulations. All owners of STRs will need to obtain…

June 26th, 2019

Beginning July 1, 2019, employers will begin reporting under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. Employers will need to report for each employee, the employee’s name, social security number, and wages paid in the reporting quarter and the associated hours. The report must also include the total amount of premiums deducted from all employees’…

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