State fines salon $14K after reopening against virus order
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A hair salon in Salem will be fined $14,000 after reopening against Gov. Kate Brown’s executive orders meant to slow the coronavirus pandemic.
The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division, known as OSHA, is fining salon owner and stylist Lindsey Graham specifically, requiring that she and her independently contracted stylists close until approved to reopen.
Once she receives the notice, expected next week, Graham will have three days to close doors. If not, she could be fined again.
”(Graham) is unquestionably operating in violation of the governor’s executive order, designed to protect workers and the public,” Aaron Corvin with OSHA told the Statesman Journal.
He said the penalty reflects both the nature of the violation and the employer’s willful decision to violate the law.
The salon, located downtown, reopened May 5 in defiance of Brown’s order that such businesses must remain closed to avoid making the COVID-19 pandemic worse.
Protesters waiving signs and American flags — including Joey Gibson, a far-right activist and founder of Patriot Prayer — have rallied at the salon to show their support for Graham.
Graham argues it’s her right to work so she can provide for her family.
Two GoFundMe accounts were created for Graham to help pay fines or attorney fees expected for reopening early.
Earlier this week, Brown denied reopening applications from Marion County, home to Salem, and Polk County due to increased COVID-19 hospitalizations.
If Graham’s license is revoked, she said she would fight it and sue. Her attorneys are challenging the OSHA fines.