Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio introduced a new bill on Thursday seeking to crack down on woke companies. The intent of Rubio’s bill is to give company shareholders more leeway in holding corporations accountable, especially over the promotion of woke ideology.
“Specifically, the legislation would require corporate directors to prove their ‘woke’ corporate actions were in their shareholders’ best interest in order to avoid liability for breach of fiduciary duty in shareholder litigation over corporate actions relating to certain social policies,” a Rubio press release reads.
The release continues, “It would also incentivize corporate management to stop abusing their positions to advance left-wing social policies by increasing their personal liability to shareholders for breaches of fiduciary duty resulting from those policies.”
Rubio said that America was increasingly coming under the tyranny of often “nationaless corporations” that want to implement “socially destructive, far-left policies” that harm the United States.
“Patriotic Americans who love their country and the opportunity it provides should be able to fight back against the growing tyranny of the woke elites running corporate America,” he said.
He continued, “These are often nationless corporations that amass fortunes divorced from the fate of our great country while pushing socially destructive, far-left policies like boycotts and cancel crusades at home.”
The bill, known as the Mind Your Own Business Act, allows for shareholders in large, public companies to have more power to make claims about the companies’ breach of fiduciary duties if they believe the company to be pushing certain woke policies.
Since companies have fiduciary duties to shareholders, they are required to have the best interests of those invested in the company in mind. The Mind Your Own Business Act essentially allows shareholders to claim that the promotion of woke ideology by the company is not in their interest as a shareholder, and take the corporation to court.
The text of Rubio’s bill explains how corporations generally do not have the goal of effecting social change, but instead increasing the company’s value. It notes that shareholders could have an interest in ensuring that the company doesn’t violate public interest norms and “use corporate resources to promote socialism, Marxism, critical race theory, or other un-American ideologies among their workforces or customers.”
The Florida senator explained his reasoning behind the bill further in an op-ed published by Fox News.
He wrote that his bill will “empower shareholders to take action when a company follows the latest woke, Marxist fads: boycotting a state, denying services to politically disfavored groups, or remaking their workforces to advance concepts like critical race theory.”
The bill hinges on making the company itself have to defend its actions and explain how whatever action it is taking or ideology it is promoting helps the interests of the shareholders. Furthermore, shareholders can demand answers if a corporation choses to retaliate against a state for adopting laws management does not like.
Rubio noted that Nike pulling the Betsy Ross flag shoe and Coke’s protestations over Georgia’s election bill would be examples of instances where shareholders could take the company to court.
Christopher Rufo, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute who has produced a lot of investigative journalism on companies implementing woke training like American Express or Lockheed Martin, was effusive about the bill.
He praised the proposal, calling it a “brilliant approach that will unite the conservative movement.”
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