California passed a first-in-the-nation law requiring corporations based in the state to appoint minority or LGBT people to their board of directors.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law on Wednesday. The law forces corporations headquartered in California to appoint Black, Hispanic or Asian people to their board of directors.
The law also requires corporations to appoint at least one member of the LGBT community to its board of directors. Companies that fail to comply could face fines of up to $300,000.
“When we talk about racial justice, we talk about empowerment, we talk about power and we need to talk about seats at the table,” Newsom said before signing the bill.
Assembly Bill 979 requires corporations to have at least one director from an under-represented community by the end of 2021.
Corporations with more than four directors, but fewer than nine, would require a minimum two diverse directors.
A corporation with nine or more directors must have at least three minority or LGBT directors by 2022.
Reparations Task Force
Gov. Newsom also signed a law on Wednesday that calls for a nine-member task force to study how reparations could be paid to Black Californians.
The task force will make recommendations for how the reparations could be paid, such as through compensation, property, mortgage loans, or restitutions.
Additionally, Newsom vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have required all high school students in California to take an ethnic studies course in order to graduate.