Building on board gender diversity requirements, California passed Assembly Bill (AB) 979 in 2020. This statute requires publicly held corporations headquartered in California to diversify their boards of directors with directors from “underrepresented communities,” specifically those individuals who self-identify 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. AB 979 required boards to diversify by December 31, 2021.
Starting this year in March, the California Secretary of State will publish annual reports on its website documenting compliance with these diversification requirements. Companies that fail to timely comply will be fined $100,000 for the first violation and $300,000 for subsequent violations.
Read the full article on Jackson Lewis’ Corporate Governance & Internal Investigations Advisor.