Proposition 60: Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements.
Should performers in adult films be required to use condoms during filming, should new requirements for producers of adult films be added to the California Labor Code, and should private citizens be allowed to file suit based on violation of these requirements?
California is a leading adult film industry location, with many such films being made in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. (Adult films are commonly known as “pornography.”) The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) already requires adult film condom use, as does Los Angeles County. Cal/OSHA considers exposure to certain body fluids a workplace hazard, because harmful sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV can spread from infected people to healthy people. In enforcing these rules, Cal/OSHA requires performers to use condoms during sex on adult film sets.
Some producers and performers prefer to make adult films without condoms or other protective equipment, and instead use regular STI testing to confirm that performers are free of harmful infections.
Prop. 60 would place into the California Labor Code additional requirements regarding workplace health and safety on adult film sets:
- Adult film producers would be required to provide condoms, ensure that performers use them, and be able to prove that they did so. Producers would have to be licensed by Cal/OSHA, pay licensing fees, pay for the costs of STI prevention vaccines, testing and medical exams, and keep records showing that they complied with the requirements. The time period for enforcement of violations would be expanded, and there would be financial penalties for such violations. Adult film distributors and talent agents could also face liability for violations.
- Any California resident could request Cal/OSHA to address an alleged violation, and, if Cal/OSHA did not take action, that person could file a civil lawsuit against the adult film producer or distributor. If the individual prevailed in the lawsuit, that person would recover their legal costs and receive 25 percent of any penalties paid by the defendant.
Some parts of the industry likely would comply with Prop. 60, while others might relocate outside of California or try to evade the law while continuing to make adult films. Adult film wages and business income would likely decline, resulting in reduced state and local revenues by several million dollars per year. Most of the ongoing state costs to implement the law would be offset by the new fees on adult film producers.