Supporters cheer the opening on Tuesday, May 5, of Glamour Salon at 195 Liberty St. S.E. Owner Lindsey Graham said she opened in defiance of state restrictions to earn an income (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A Salem salon owner has been fined for defying a governor’s orders that closed many businesses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Lindsey Graham, the owner of Glamour Salon, faces a $14,000 penalty from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration for opening the salon, located at 195 Liberty St S.E., on May 5.

“She is unquestionably operating in violation of the governor’s executive order, designed to protect workers and the public,” said Oregon OSHA spokesman Aaron Corvin in an email. He said the penalty reflects both the nature of the violation and the employer’s willful decision to violate the law.

In March, Gov. Kate Brown shut barbershops, massage parlors and other businesses that require close contact with customers to prevent the spread of the virus. Since then, frustration has grown over the disruptions to the state’s economy and daily life.

The opening of Glamour, which occurred blocks from the Capitol, drew media attention. Graham has repeatedly taken to Facebook to defend her decision to reopen and her right to earn a living. She has argued that Oregon OSHA doesn’t have the authority to enforce the order at her salon because stylists working there are independent contractors, not employees.

“This is not only unconstitutional, but unlawful and unjust,” she said in a Facebook post on Thursday in response to the penalty.

Corvin said that while Oregon OSHA’s jurisdiction is limited to protecting employees, the agency found during its inspection that at least some of those working at the salon qualify as employees.

Graham said that Oregon OSHA is using a loophole to punish her and has indicated that she has hired an attorney to contest the penalty.

The Salem Police Department did not take enforcement action against Graham for opening the salon.

The salon rents from a property owned by the city of Salem. Earlier this month, the city sent a letter to Graham advising her that opening the salon while the governor’s order is in effect would be a violation of the lease.

 Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or jake@salemreporter.com or @jakethomas2009.

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