Law Mandates CalPERS/CalSTRS Support For Shareholder Resolutions Supporting Religious Minorities

In 1999, the legislature enacted SB 105 (Burton) which obligates CalPERS and CalSTRS to support, whenever feasible, shareholder resolutions at domestic and international corporations in which those funds have invested that are designed to encourage, among other things:

  • Increased representation of individuals from underrepresented religious groups in the work force, including managerial, supervisory, administrative, clerical, and technical jobs; and
  • Banning of provocative religious or political emblems from the workplace.

Cal. Gov’t Code Section 7513.5. While this law is limited to operations in Northern Ireland, it is surprising to see that the California legislature actually mandated support for: (1) affirmative action based on religion; and (2) restraints on free speech.

Maybe The WSJ Should Read This Blog

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal ran a front page story entitled “Wall Street vs. Employees’ Privacy” by Jean Eaglesham and Michael Rothfeld. The story concerned (but did not identify) Labor Code Section 980 (enacted by AB 1844 (Campos), Stats. 2012, ch. 618) which prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant for employment to disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media, to access personal social media in the presence of the employer, or to divulge any personal social media. Towards the end of the story, the authors wrote: “Courts haven’t ruled on whether the state laws or Finra [sic] rules should take precedence on employee privacy.” Readers of this blog may recall this post from the week before last that discussed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ holding that Congress has vested FINRA and the New York Stock Exchange with the power to promulgate rules that, once adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, have the force of law. The Ninth Circuit decision, McDaniel v. Wells Fargo Investments, LLC, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7124 (9th Cir., April 9, 2013), involved a different statute Labor Code Section 450, which generally prohibits “forced patronage” arrangements.