Salem, Oregon salon owner Lindsey Graham gave a news conference on 15 May, describing the harassment she faced when she announced that she would reopen her salon on May 5th. She described it as “bullying and harassment.”
The day before she was to reopen – on 4 May – her salon was visited by OSHA officials who said they would fine her $1,000 citation if she reopened and further that if “she did not comply” they would then issue her a $70,000 citation. Graham said that she has 23 artists working in her salon and that the last time she checked not one of them had received any governmental assistance. Graham noted that the 23 artists who worked in the salon were all independent consultants who were choosing to provide their services.
On the 6th of May, the City of Salem, which owns the lease for her salon, threatened to revoke her lease.
On May 7th, CPS showed up at her home. “They questioned my husband and me” and they also questioned her six-year-old son apart from her and her husband. She noted that she does not even know what questions were asked of her son. They mentioned that they might want to question her three-year-old daughter and they also inspected her eight-week old’s diaper.
“I never expected such a violent vindictive thing could have been done to me because I’m trying to earn a living, I’m trying to work.” “One week later, OSHA finally decided that my case was closed”. However, she stated they informed her that she would be receiving a 14,000 citation likely next week.
“I am very sad that this is the world that we live in.”
“Everyone’s job is essential…because it’s the way we make our living.” “How much debt is our family going to go into” when there is no firm date for when her county (Marion) will be able to open.
The state’s Health Licensing Agency personally threatened to revoke all of their licenses. “They’re really trying to break me…”
She noted that the governor, Kate Brown has “no idea” what folks are going through (being out of work) and that the governor’s “getting a paycheck” and CPS is not “threatening her.”
She said she is “fighting a government who would take it to your home, your children.” One of the independent contractors who has known Graham almost her entire life stated that she was “ashamed to be an Oregonian,” “ashamed of this state.” “That they would treat people this way. The fact that this state would go after her babies – I just have no words.”
Ms. Graham does have legal counsel representing her and plans to fight to stay open as long as she can.