Group files Nevada complaint to enforce condom law
August 8, 2014
RENO — A Los Angeles-based group that wants porn performers to wear condoms during film shoots has filed its first complaint in Nevada.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a formal complaint with Nevada's Occupational Safety and Health Administration against a San Francisco production company that made an adult film in Las Vegas in June.
The organization says the film shows performers engaging in activities that are highly likely to spread potentially infectious materials, in violation of federal OSHA rules the group says require the use of condoms in shoots.
"This new complaint in Nevada is based on the simple fact that they cannot hide from federal law there or anywhere in the U.S.," said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "Are workers in Nevada any less entitled to protection from harm than those in California?"
The film, "Vegas Road Trip," was made for a website run by Kink.com. Its CEO, Peter Acworth, called the complaint baseless.
"Current federal regulations make no mention of condoms, and use standards that were developed in the 1990s for hospitals, not porn sets," he said in a statement. "We will continue to work with performers, doctors and regulators to develop protocols that keep sets safe, and still respect performers' rights."
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Furthermore, even if OSHA rules did apply to porn actors, there was no violation during the Las Vegas shoot because it only involved oral sex, added Michael Stabile, a spokesman for the company.
Nevada OSHA spokeswoman Teri Williams said the agency is reviewing the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's complaint, which was received July 25.
After the review, she said, the agency could choose to initiate an inspection or it could send a letter asking for more information from the company.
"I'm not aware of any (previous) referrals to us related to this particular industry," Williams said.
The filing comes two years after voters in Los Angeles County approved a measure that requires adult film performers to wear condoms while filming there. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is pushing a similar measure that is pending in the California Legislature and would apply statewide.
"From our point of view, this (Nevada filing) is a retaliatory measure for some of the work we're doing to fight their bill in California," Stabile said.
In August 2013, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a similar complaint with California OSHA against Kink.com, saying performers may have been exposed to HIV after failing to wear condoms during a shoot.
California OSHA officials fined the company more than $78,000 early this year for maintaining dangerous workplace conditions, among them allowing performers to have sex on camera without using condoms.
The company argued that many of its performers prefer not to use condoms and that the fine was the result of a long-running campaign by those who oppose the adult film industry.