Timeline of Governor Newsom’s Capitulation

Posted May 28, 2020, under Hot Topics

Given there are some in our industry who haven’t been following the work of the PBFC (in pressuring Governor Newsom to #OpenSalonsNow via a federal court lawsuit and concerted media campaign), we thought it would be helpful to provide a brief timeline of our work on behalf of all 620,000 licensed professionals in this state:

April 28: After nearly two months of being in lockdown, Governor Newsom announces a 4-Phased reopening plan, placing beauty industry businesses/schools in Phase 3.  He clarifies Phase 3 would be additional “months not weeks” away.  PBFC sends letter to Governor Newsom’s Cabinet Secretary laying out our profound concerns with prolonging the shutdown throughout the summer.

April 29: PBFC meets with Deputy Cabinet Secretary and State Board Executive Officer to explain how additional months of lockdowns will be untenable, and could undermine the very basis of our licensed, state-regulated industry (and devastate salon businesses, stylist livelihoods and students’ dreams).

May 1: State Board warns all 620,000 licensed professionals (including 53,000 licensed establishments) to stay shut down or else risk losing their licenses.  This negates any hope of a political solution.

May 5: PBFC retains Dhillon Law Group to begin the process of filing a federal district court action against Governor Newsom and other state officials to compel them to reopen our salons.

May 6: PBFC informs media of our intention to file suit and the reasons why this was our only available recourse.  We begin our #OpenSalonsNow PR campaign.

May 7: Governor Newsom responds to a reporter’s question about our vowed lawsuit with the bombshell assertion that he doesn’t feel comfortable reopening salons because the first community spread occurred in an unnamed/unidentified nail salon.  This was news to all 39+ million Californians, including our own state regulators — who work for the Governor in overseeing our industry!

May 8: Media press Governor Newsom on his defamatory slander against nail salons, and he claims for privacy and HIPPA constraints that he isn’t at liberty to provide any details of his allegation.  He states how much he admires Vietnamese nail salons and holds them in “reverence.”

May 12: PBFC files suit in the Central District Court in Los Angeles.

May 19: Governor Newsom’s attorneys file a 243-page Response. Nowhere in their response is the Governor’s nail salon allegation even mentioned.

Video Montage of Lawsuit Coverage

May 22: Federal Judge assigned this suit orders both sides to file closing arguments via 5-page Briefs by Tuesday, May 26, at which time the Judge will take into submission the case and shortly thereafter provide his ruling.

May 26: Governor Newsom suddenly cuts short his additional “months not weeks” vow and authorizes the reopening of hair salons/barbershops in all counties that have attested to their ability to reopen (at the time 47 counties).  His office simultaneously post guidelines on said salons as a condition of reopening.  Later that day, the Attorney General’s lawyers file their 5-page final Brief, pointing to the Governor’s announcement that day as reason for the Court to dismiss our lawsuit.  PBFC attorneys file our 5-page Brief, addressing the holes in the Governor’s hastily announced reopening plans (e.g., it doesn’t apply to all hair salons/barbershops, leaving out approximately 45% of them, and it keeps nail and skin care services in perpetual shutdown; it also inappropriately punts regulatory authority from our State Board down to ill-equipped County Health Departments; among other clear legal deficiencies).

We hope this brief timeline helps illustrate how the actions of the PBFC led Governor Newsom to fast-forward his Phase 3 timeframe.  And while we are grateful to have substantively and timely moved the needle, we recognize there is still much work to be done on behalf of our entire licensed population statewide (as this short video montage illustrates):

Partial Victory For Some

The PBFC proudly stood up for you when no one else would.

We are eternally grateful for those who have supported our lawsuit and PR campaign, organizing peaceful demonstrations, naming their businesses as Parties to our suit and responding to press interviews.  We are also very grateful for those who have contributed to our GoFundMe Legal Defense Fund linked below (hundreds of behind-the-chair professionals and independent salon owners and franchisees), as well as to those who provided direct financial and technical support (Salon Success Academies, Federico Beauty Institute, Bellus Academy, Salon Coach Kim Hansen, a faithful MoveOn Petitioner gatherer and two outstanding national brands: Paul Mitchell Systems & Academies and Fantastic Sams).

Legal Defense Fund