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AHF: California Tells Los Angeles That City Can Tie Adult Film Permits to Condom Use

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LOS ANGELES—-In response to a push by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to compel the City of Los Angeles to tie the issuance of its adult film permits to condom use in adult film productions, a recent opinion letter by Cal/OSHA’s (California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health) legal counsel sharply contradicts a March 2011 report in which the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office claimed it did not have the authority to condition issuance of adult film permits to condom use.

“Ordinarily, state agencies are given deference by cities and local bodies in situations such as this, and we ask the Los Angeles City Council to do so in this matter in order to better protect workers and performers working in the adult film industry here in Los Angeles.”

In the initial City report, dated March 22, 2011 titled, “Mechanisms Necessary to Enable the City’s Film Permit Process to Require Workplace Safety in the Production of All Adult Films,’ Kimberly Miera, Deputy City Attorney, City of Los Angeles, on behalf of City Attorney Carmen A. Trutanich, wrote:

“It is the opinion of this Office (City Attorney, City of Los Angeles) that the current permit language covers the use of condoms on all permitted adult film sets to the extent that the City may legally do so. Based on the current permit language, along with the jurisdictional concerns in regulating workplace safety issues, our Office recommends the permit language remains unchanged and this report be noted and filed.”

However, in a researched opinion letter dated July 20th titled, ‘Position of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Concerning Possible Conditions on the City’s Film Permits Issued to Adult Film Producers,’ written in response to the City Attorney’s March report and addressed and sent to ‘the Honorable City Council, City of Los Angeles,’ James D. Clark, Staff Counsel for California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Legal Unit, Southern California, wrote:

“It is the Division’s (of Occupational Safety and Health) position that State law does not preempt such action by the City because the City does not seek to enact an occupational health and safety standard but rather a public health standard applicable to any film activity (regardless of employment relationship) within the City boundaries.

“Cal OSHA and Mr. Clark have provided a very clear and compelling case as to why the City of Los Angeles can condition the issuing of film permits to adult film producers based upon compliance with condom use in their film productions, as currently required under state statute,” said Michael Weinstein [pictured], President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

“Ordinarily, state agencies are given deference by cities and local bodies in situations such as this, and we ask the Los Angeles City Council to do so in this matter in order to better protect workers and performers working in the adult film industry here in Los Angeles.”

In her March report to City Council, Deputy City Attorney Miera also confirmed that condom use in adult film production in the state is required, writing, “Presently it (Cal OSHA) mandates that all employees exposed to blood borne pathogens wear protective barriers, which includes the use of condoms. CAL-OSHA has been responsive to complaints and has several open investigations, including production companies affiliated with Larry Flynt Publications and Playboy.”

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