An Oregon salon owner who reopened her business in defiance of the state's stay-at-home order earlier this year has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Gov. Kate Brown, documents show.
"By shutting down private businesses, which in turn caused Oregonians to lose their jobs and their ability to support their families, caused greater negative health effects on Oregonians in the form of increased stress, anxiety and depression," Graham said, according to the suit.
The documents show that the salon owner is seeking $100,000 in damages as a result of her business that was forced to close and the $14,000 fine that was issued against her by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA).
"I have independent contractors who are choosing to work at this facility," she continued.
Graham previously said in May her decision to reopen the salon was necessary to pay her bills and provide for her family.
"At this point, I’m deciding that it’s more important for me to feed my family and pay the bills that are going to keep our home and our family alive than take the risk to remain being shut down for an undisclosed amount of time," the salon owner said.
In the court documents, Graham claims Brown does not have the authority to close private businesses that are able to operate safely without causing a disruption to public health.
"Graham followed appropriate health protocols, wiping down surfaces with anti-bacterial cleaner, cleaning floors, making sure proper mask hygiene protocols were in place, and other steps to ensure the Salon would be safe to the next day’s customers," said Ross Day, Graham's attorney.
"The conduct of the Defendants represents the absolute worst abuses of power one could possibly imagine," he added.
Brown issued an executive order and public health emergency on March 23 in an attempt to slow the spread of the CCP virus, forcing many businesses like Glamour Salon to close.
Graham announced on May 3 in a semi-private manner on Facebook she was reopening her business again to provide service to her clientele, six weeks after the governor's order, according to the lawsuit.
"It was an act of retribution when Governor Brown sent Oregon OSHA to improperly and illegally issue my business a $14,000 fine," Graham said.
A spokeswoman for OSHA said earlier this year the penalty reflects "both the nature of the violation and the employer’s willful decision to violate the law."