Assembly Bill 1576, Rep. Isadore Hall’s bill to require condoms in all adult films made in California, cleared the Committee on Labor and Employment in the California Assembly in a 5 to 0 vote (with 1 absence & 1 abstention) today and now moves on to the Assembly Arts & Entertainment Committee
California Assembly Bill 1576, a landmark bill to require condoms in all adult films made statewide in California, cleared the state Assembly’s Committee on Labor and Employment earlier today in a five (5) to zero (0) vote). Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III (D-Los Angeles) from California’s 64th Assembly District, authored the bill, which he introduced in mid-February. AB 1576 now moves on for hearing in the Legislature’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee.
Assemblymember Roger Hernández (D, West Covina, District #48), the chair of the committee—and who abstained from voting on a similar bill last year—voted in favor of the bill this year and spoke passionately about the importance of protecting workers in the adult industry.
Adult performers who testified:
· Cameron Bay, adult film performer who became infected with HIV while working in the adult industry in August 2013
· Rod Daily, adult film performer who became HIV positive while working in the adult industry in August 2013
· Tiffany Maples, former adult film performer
· Jesse Rogers, former adult film performer
· Darren James, adult film performer who became HIV positive while working in California’s adult film industry in 2004, who subsequently infected three female adult film performers
“Today’s 5-0 vote for my AB 1576 was a strong reaffirmation of the California Legislature’s commitment to protect workers in the state, regardless of the type of work performed. For too long, the adult film industry has thrived on a business model that exploits its workers and puts profit over workplace safety,” said Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III. “The Assembly Labor & Employment Committee soundly rejected the opposition’s arguments because they were based on fear, not facts. The fact is, adult film actors are employees, like any other employee for any other business in the state. A minimum level of safety in the workplace should not have to be negotiated. We need to begin to treat the adult film industry just like any other legitimate, legal business in California. Legitimate businesses follow the law. Legitimate businesses protect their employees from injury in the workplace. This legitimate, legal business should be treated no differently.”
“In the last year, at least two additional adult performers—Cameron Bay and Rod Daily—sadly became infected with HIV while working in the industry,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “AB 1576 expands and broadens worker protections for all California’s adult film workers on a statewide basis. We are grateful that Assemblymember Hall has shown the courage—and the vision—to recognize that workers in the adult film industry are entitled to the same safeguards and worker protections that any employee in California is, and we will do what ever we can to help pass this legislation.”
“To date, the industry has not been able to persuade anyone but themselves that the industry should be able to profit on their performers’ work without providing basic protection,” said Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Senior Director of Public Health for AHF. “We thank the Labor Committee for its swift and favorable action on this bill today. AB 1576 does what only this Legislature can do: give clear direction to CalOSHA to settle definitions surrounding worker safety measures on adult film set workplaces throughout California. This is common sense. This is good public policy. And it protects California workers simply trying to do their jobs.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the sponsor of Hall’s legislation, successfully spearheaded Ballot Measure B, the ‘County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,’—more informally known as the ‘condoms in porn’ measure, which Los Angeles County voters approved by a 57% to 43% margin in the November 2012 election. Measure B requires producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and pay a permit fee sufficient for necessary enforcement and follow all health and safety laws, including condom use by performers. AB 1576 will expand upon the workplace protections now required in Los Angeles County to protect all adult film actors throughout the state of California.
Hall’s legislation will provide statewide uniformity needed to ensure that the thousands of actors employed in this multi-billion dollar industry are given reasonable workplace safety protections needed to reduce exposure to HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases.