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Corporate Counsel: General Counsel Need to Be Ready for New California Board Diversity Mandate

September 16, 2020

O’Melveny corporate partners Shelly Heyduk and John-Paul Motley are quoted in this article, which discussed how in-house legal teams can prepare for proposed California legislation that, if passed, would require boards of directors in California to include at least one diverse member.

“There are a lot of companies out there that are in good shape. They’ve been working on their board refreshment efforts for the last two to three years,” Heyduk said. “But I think there are others though that are behind a little bit on this.” The publication noted that if companies fail to comply, a US$100,000 fine would be issued for a first-time violation and US$300,000 fine for each violation going forward. “So that means if you’re in a year where you’re required to add two directors and you haven’t, that’s two violations,” Heyduk added.

“From a general counsel perspective, I would say that it’s not too late to start now—even if you think the legislation may not get signed,” Motley said. “It’s not a situation where you can turn on a light switch and say, ‘Let’s go find two new directors.’”

Law.com subscribers can read the full article here.