An Oregon salon owner who defied a lockdown order said Friday she is now facing a $14,000 fine.
Lindsey Graham, who owns Glamour Salon in Salem, said the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division, which goes by the acronym of OSHA, will fine her $14,000 for defying Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s ban on opening.
She will also face an order specifically requiring her to close within three days.
″[Graham] is unquestionably operating in violation of the governor’s executive order, designed to protect workers and the public,” OSHA spokesman Aaron Corvin told the Salem Statesman Journal.
But Graham said the state is wrong to force her to stay closed.
“Everyone’s job is essential, not because what we do or how we do it, but because it’s how we make our living,” she told reporters on Friday, according to KPTV.
The salon is one of several businesses Graham and her husband own, all of which have been shuttered since March due to state orders.
Graham also said the fine is wrong because she it not technically the employer of the stylists who work in her shop.
“I have independent contractors that are choosing to work in this facility. OSHA has illegally deemed them employees and is citing me as an employer, which I am not,” she said.
Corvin said Graham was wrong in that claim.
“Our jurisdiction is indeed limited to exposure of employees,” he said, “but as many employers in industries such as construction have learned, not everyone whose employer refers to them as an independent contractor actually falls outside our jurisdiction.”
Graham said that since she defied Brown, Child Protective Services officials came to her home to interview her and her family. She said CPS is being used to play politics.
The agency’s press secretary, Jake Sunderland, said that due to confidentiality laws, he could not comment on an individual case.
“Due to confidentiality laws, we cannot comment on whether or not there is an open CPS assessment against any individual. I want to stress however, that not following Governor Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives executive order or not following physical distancing guidelines would never be a reason to assign a CPS assessment,” he told KPTV.
The governor’s office has called the reopening of a business without permission “irresponsible,” adding that “these business owners are putting the public at risk.”
“A public health crisis should never be used as a marketing opportunity,” a statement from Brown’s office said.
But Graham said she is not budging.
“I’m vowing to stay open as long as I can, basically, until the governor tries to take my entire career, something I’ve worked 15 years for, out from underneath me,” she said.
And if the government tries to take her license, she will fight to save her business.
“I’m almost broken, I’m almost closing, which is terrifying,” Graham, whose lawyers are challenging the OSHA fine, told reporters. “I would love to see Kate Brown be as brave as me.”
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