Salon owners sue governor to reopen their businesses

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SAN DIEGO –  Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that some additional business will be allowed to reopen now, but beauty salons were not on the list.

“It’s frustrating,” said Corinne Lamb, owner of Solatto Salon and Lounge in Rancho Bernardo. “I don’t envy the governor. I know it’s not an easy decision.”

However Lamb and other salon owners around the state say Newsom is making a mistake by not allowing them to reopen. That’s why she and other salon owners up and down the state have teamed up with the Professional Beauty Federation of California to file a federal lawsuit against Newsom Tuesday.

“We are seeking that the governor’s order be struck down,” said attorney Hameet Dhillon with the Center for American Liberty. “The whole classification of essential versus non-essential is arbitrary. It was done without due process or appeal or ability to be heard. It was not based on science or fact or the law or the governor having any authority to do any of this in his emergency services.”

The group is hoping a federal judge will overrule the governor’s decision immediately, allowing them to re-open.

Lamb said salon owners expected to be part of stage two of the state’s re-opening plan, only to find out last week, that they had been pushed back to stage three. So far, the governor hasn’t said when phase three will begin.

At a press conference last week, Newsom may have tipped his hand on why he decided to delay reopening salons. He claimed that the spread of COVID-19 in the state originated from a salon, and that he was worried about salon operations.

“Where is the evidence and where is the evidence that it spread at a nail salon?” Dhillon asked? “All there is is the governor’s off-the-cuff remark. I don’t buy it. He should prove it.”

FOX 5 asked the governor’s office Tuesday for a response but did not hear back.

While salon owners wait for a judge’s ruling, they continue to modify their spaces to create space to adhere to social distancing requirements. 

“All I can do is hope at this point,” Lamb said.

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