SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Lawmakers have introduced a new bill that would force public corporations headquartered in California to increase ethnic representation on their board of directors or pay a fine.
Assembly Bill 979 was introduced by Assemblymembers Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) and Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). If signed into law, companies without a director from an “under-represented community” could be forced to pay between $100,000 and $300,000.
The bill currently defines “under-represented groups” as African American, Hispanic, and Native American, but is expected to be updated next week to include Asian, Pacific-Islander, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native.
In 2018, then Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires corporate boards of directors to include women. By the end of 2021, corporations with five directors are required to have a minimum of two female directors and corporations with six or more directors to have at least three female directors.
AB 979 would follow suit, requiring such corporations to have at least one member from an underrepresented community by the end of 2021.