Will Condoms in Porn Initiative Interfere with OSHA Compliance? - Employment Law - California Case Law
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Will Condoms in Porn Initiative Interfere with OSHA Compliance?

Employment law and OSHA compliance become infinitely more interesting when applied to California's pornography industry.

This week, a Los Angeles city clerk certified more than 70,000 signatures for a ballot initiative to require condoms in porn. Barring legal action, Los Angeles voters would consider the initiative along with the presidential primary in June.

(Sidebar: Much like OSHA compliance issues, porn regulation also makes presidential primaries more interesting.)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the group that led the ballot initiative, sued earlier this year to compel a Los Angeles Department of Health officer to require adult film industry performers to wear condoms in the production of hardcore pornography, and to obtain hepatitis B vaccinations. A California appellate court ruled against AHF, stating that it would not compel another branch of government to exercise its discretion in a particular manner.

While AHF could be more successful in persuading voters to join its condoms in porn crusade, it could still run into more legal challenges. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich filed court documents earlier this month that said the state, not the city, has exclusive legal authority to mandate condoms on porn sets, reports ABC News.

Ellen Widess, head of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), disagrees, and claims that the proposal is a legal possibility. "We remain convinced that the City of Los Angeles is not pre-empted by Cal/OSHA from asserting its authority to protect the health of employees and others, including volunteers, who may be exposed to health hazards in L.A.'s adult film industry," Widess said in an AHF press release.

If the initiative survives the voters and the courts, the Los Angeles Health Department would most likely be responsible for enforcing the law. Because the ballot initiative is for a city ordinance instead of a state law, it would not fall within the Cal/OSHA compliance purview.

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