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Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

A Reminder for CA Corporate Boards of Directors of Requirement for Female and LGBTQ Directors

There are several lawsuits already pending in state and federal courts challenging the constitutionality of both mandates

By Chris Micheli, November 29, 2021 2:21 am

Publicly-traded corporations with their principal executive offices in California are reminded of their legal obligations under two California statutes to have specified individuals on their boards of directors.

SB 826, by Sen Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), enacted in 2018, required that, no later than the close of the 2019 calendar year, a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive offices are located in California must have at least one female director on its board.

In addition, pursuant to SB 826, these same corporations must have, no later than December 31 of this year:

  • Three female directors, if the board has six or more directors.
  • Two female directors, if the board has five directors.
  • One female director, if the board has four or fewer directors.

The Secretary of State publishes annually a report on its website regarding the number of corporations subject to this law and certain, specified information. The Secretary of State is also authorized to assess civil penalties of $100,000 to $300,000 for violations of this law. To date, the Secretary has not assessed any such penalties.

AB 979, by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), enacted in 2020, requires that, no later than the close of the 2021 calendar year, a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive offices are located in California have must at least one director on its board from an underrepresented community.

Under AB 979, “director from an underrepresented community” means an individual who self-identifies as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or who self-identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

In addition, pursuant to AB 979, these same corporations must have, no later than December 31, 2022:

  • Three directors from underrepresented communities, if the board has nine or more directors.
  • Two directors from underrepresented communities, if the board has fewer than nine directors.
  • One director from underrepresented communities, if the board has four or fewer directors.

There are several lawsuits that are pending in state and federal courts challenging the constitutionality of both SB 826 and AB 979. Those legal challenges are not expected to be resolved until late 2022.

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13 thoughts on “A Reminder for CA Corporate Boards of Directors of Requirement for Female and LGBTQ Directors

  1. What happened to the person with best qualifications getting the job? Dumbing down America just like our current POTUS and VP.

  2. This is a good law and the corporations better follow it.
    Enough with all the all-boys club running the whole show.

    1. You never answered my hypothetical question from last week. Here it is again..!!

      The State should not be telling anyone who needs to be on their boards including what type of people.
      What would you say if a company has a board of 100% LGBTQ+ POC members with no Straight White Males..?? Would you support forcing that company to make changes to their Board to accommodate Straight White Males..??
      Knowing your response to others, you would probably say “No” however, I would like to know your response and most especially, why. Thanks

      1. Who exactly are you asking? The person writing this article is not a government employee or representative. He is a lobbyist.

  3. Quotas never work…..the person with the best credentials and experience should get irrespective of gender. My last workplace was a hell hole due to quotas and anti-male sentiment.

  4. Comrades
    Make your own way…..nobody in government will protect you.
    They want your assets and be suspicious of any government worker’s professional motives….it’s control and picking you clean….the Covid example.

  5. This is moronic law and massive government overreach. The Supreme Court is going to ram it back down the liberal politicians throats.

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