San Francisco-based Kink.com has been fined more than US$78,000 for breaching safety standards in the workplace, among them allowing porn stars to have sex without wearing condoms.
Parent company Cybernet Entertainment argues that a majority of its actors and actresses opposed using the little raincoat, and that the fine is part of an on-going moral crusade against the porn industry.
“The fines are excessive and, we believe, politically motivated,” Cybernet founder Peter Acworth wrote in a statement. “The complaints which prompted the inspection were not made by actual employees, but by outside groups with a long history of opposition to adult film. We’ll be appealing the decision.”
Representatives of California Safety and Health Administration (CalOSHA) carried out inspections during August 2013 following complaints regarding Cybernet’s policy, which allows its performer to choose whether or not to use a rubber.
CalOSHA spokesman, Peter Melton, said there had been several complaints against Kink.com in 2013, and described the fine as “significant.”
Behind most of the complaints is the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF). The advocacy group has remained a driving force behind several regulations, appeared in court when the county declined to, reported violations to government officials, and sued companies that tried to move their production outside the area.
“We’re all for sensible regulation that protect the performers,” Mike stabile, a spokesman for Kink.com, said in response to AHF’s complaints: “But this essentially amounts to a moral crusade. It’s a solution in search of a problem.”
Two porn stars who had an off-set relationship announced in 2013 via their Twitter accounts that they had both tested positive for HIV. This confession led to the entire porn industry grinding to a halt for weeks while virtually everyone in the industry was tested.
Adult entertainment companies in California decided on their own accord to introduce regular tests for various sexually transmitted diseases, but acknowledged that there was little they could do as far as performers contracting HIV privately.
“That’s neither here nor there,” an AHF spokesman, Ged Kenslea, said. “Because CalOSHA requires that condoms be used. An HIV test is not a form of prevention.”
In September 2013, a bill that would have made condoms mandatory wear for porn actors was voted down, but CalOSHA has found a loophole and referred to a health and safety regulation that requires companies to minimize employees’ exposure to blood and other potentially infectious bodily fluids.
CalOSHA has already successfully managed to convince a court in early 2014 to impose a fine of close to US$9,000 on Bay Area adult film company Treasure Island Media, for similar citations they are now using against Kink.com.