Died In Committee on 06-26-21
Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/HB3110
Committee assigned to bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Committees/SLB/Overview
This bill requires board of directors of publicly traded corporation to have at least one female director and one director who is a member of an underrepresented community. Punishes violation of requirement with civil penalty of at least $10,000 for publicly traded corporations.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
The definition of “Female” means an individual who self-identifies as a woman, regardless of the sex assigned to the individual at birth. It seems a man can self identify as other than male and qualify. Women work hard to earn their place and this is offensive and belittling to a woman that would be appointed to a board for any other reason than ability. Underrepresented means an individual who identifies as having a low income or low income background, which includes about anyone except a straight white person, and they should feel the same about their ability to qualify.
California became the first state to legally compel public companies to add women directors in 2018. By December 31, 2021, boards with six or more directors must have at least three female directors, boards of five must have at least two, and boards with four or fewer members must have one. HB 3110 requires board of directors of publicly traded corporations to have at least one female director and at least one director who are a member of an underrepresented community, establishes violations of this requirement, sets civil penalties, and requires annual reporting by the Secretary of State on related factors and compliance.
This is a move of government to control the free market. Increasing the board number to comply is an accommodation and insulting to those filling those positions. It goes against business concept that shareholders elect board members. Shareholders have many interests, but first and foremost it is the financial health of the business. Companies have a fiduciary duty to shareholders to maximize their return on investment. That means that directors are chosen based on whether they will further the goal of benefiting shareholders, not the community at-large.
How about we let businesses do what is right for them. Requiring businesses to hire women directors is ludicrous. Businesses are in business to make money. Hiring should be done on a best qualified for the job basis, not because of sex, race or any government requirements. It is insulting to assume that in this day and age a business would hire a male solely because of his sex rather than a better qualified female. Regardless of wishful thinking, there are only two sexes. Peoples sexual orientation should be of no ones interest or business, but their own. A male is a male. A female is a female. They can call themselves and express themselves as they choose to without any help from the government. It is already law that they cannot be discriminated against.
HB 3110 NEA
I oppose this bill because it is not under the authority of law makers to require a quota of any personal in any position, private or public. This is a divisive attempt to insure equality in the workplace, when in reality life is not equal. We each have our individual strengths and abilities that come naturally and are aided by education and experience and are slated for failure if we are placed in a position that we are not qualified. This bill does not include any reference to abilities.
How would you like to be replaced by a plumber or other trades person?
Stay out of the board rooms!
A good point made about this issue by someone who sent in testimony: We are particularly concerned that this concept doesn’t take into account the fact that business leadership does not control board membership. This is a decision entirely at the control of shareholders who elect board members. Shareholders have many interests, but first and foremost it is the financial health of the business. Companies have a fiduciary duty to our shareholders to maximize their return on investment. That means that directors are chosen based on whether they will further the goal of benefiting shareholders.
Beyond the gross interference of government in commerce, which also brings up constitutional issues, the most likely outcome of such a law will be to force the headquarters of affected companies out of state, and with them a significant source of revenue as the state will only get a share of local operations and not the big piece of the pie that comes with a company headquarters. So not only does Oregon risk coming into conflict with the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, we’re also looking at becoming even less business-friendly than we are now, and driving more businesses out of state. Idaho, Utah, and Texas are loving you people. The people you claim to represent, not so much.