The Center for HIV Law and Policy joined HIV Prevention Justice Alliance and the Positive Women’s Network-USA in a letter to California Assemblymember Isadore Hall urging him to make critical amendments to his bill, AB 1576, that would authorize state-mandated pre-employment STD testing, including HIV testing, under Labor Code section 6401.7(i)(1)(B). The letter outlines the serious legal and policy concerns raised by state-mandated testing and calls attention to the fact that there is no other place in California law where STD testing is required for all employees as a condition of employment. The organizations note that other provisions in the bill, such as requiring condom use in all adult films, provide adequate safety protections to adult performers, and obviate any compelling need to require a state-mandated testing regime that will threaten the confidentiality, privacy and employment protections of adult film industry employees.
The letter comes at a critical time as the bill has cleared the Committee on Labor and Employment and is now being considered by the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media. In light of the continued discrimination and stigma surrounding HIV and other STDs, privacy and confidentiality concerns, particularly in the employment context, should be given careful consideration to ensure the bill serves the best interests of the employees it seeks to protect. The organizations emphasize that protecting the health and safety of adult film industry performers can be done in a thoughtful and responsible manner, and not at the cost of workers’ rights to confidentiality, privacy, and important employment protections provided for under state and federal law.