San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution
Final Report 1996

V. Labor Policy Issues

Strip clubs and erotic performance theaters, erotic film and video production, porn magazine publishing and phone sex switchboards, commercial parties and sex clubs-- are all part of the legal sex industry in San Francisco.62

Current regulatory practices in these legal venues provide owners and management undue leverage over workers, and the number of complaints from workers grows. In one recent case, CAL OSHA investigations and Labor Commission decisions supported dancers' claims regarding working conditions. (See Appendix D.) 63 Current lack of oversight has also resulted in local theater owners declaring that workers are independent contractors, when they are, by legal definition, employees.

Although stigma and bias allow abuse in these workplaces, employees are afforded the right of legal recourse and the right to pursue labor disputes. Labor disputes in this are precedent setting, as sex workers' rights are not expressly written in the law.

The recommendations below apply to current legal sex trade venues including erotic performance clubs and theaters:64
The following recommendations apply to independent contractors and self-employed people:

The Fiscal Impact of The Sex Industry

A record of the economic impact of sex work on the City's economy should be documented in the City's financial records.67 By omitting the record of this work, the contribution to survival of families and communities goes unrecognized and workplace safety, civil rights, protection from violence, disability and other issues for these sectors of the population are not addressed. By removing criminal sanctions, sex work would be recognized as work and the value of this work would be counted, in keeping with Task Force recommendations. 68

Although there is currently little documented economic information about the sex industry, a sample survey was conducted by one Task Force member indicating the exponential effects these earnings have on the City's economy.69

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