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California law requiring women on corporate boards is unconstitutional, judge rules

May 18, 2022


A California judge has struck down a law requiring public corporations headquartered in the state to include a minimum number of women on their boards of directors.

Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis of the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled Friday, report Law360, Courthouse News Service and the Washington Post.

Duffy-Lewis ruled that the law violates equal protection guarantees in the state constitution.

The Washington Post described the law. It required publicly held companies to have at least one female board member by the end of 2019. This year, the number increased to two women for companies with five directors and to three women for companies with larger boards. Penalties ranged from $100,000 for failing to report a board’s gender composition to $300,000 for multiple violations of the gender requirement.

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