Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Thursday introduced legislation that would force corporate boards and managers to prove that their far-left social ideologies benefit shareholders, or else accept personal responsibility for harming their companies.
The Mind Your Own Business Act would empower shareholders to sue corporate leaders for enacting social policies that violate their fiduciary duty—their contractual obligation to keep corporations profitable and stable in the long-run, according to Rubio’s press release.
Under the law, corporate leaders would bear the burden of proof to show that their left-wing social policies serve their corporations’ interests and would “make corporate directors and officers personally liable if they can’t prove it.”
Rubio introduced the bill in the Senate in response to the growing threat from anti-American corporate leaders who feel no attachment to American shareholders or the interests of the United States as a whole.
“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.
These corporate leaders instead serve global economic interests and abstract political ideologies, like critical race theory and transgenderism.
“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,” Rubio said.
In a Thursday interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business, Rubio said that woke corporations may invest or enact policies to please the Chinese Communist Party but that these actions are not safe because China’s economy does not rely on market forces.
“This is if the government decides that we want to collapse an industry, a company, an American investment in China, they can do it overnight,” Rubio said. “It will be a government action…a geopolitical chess move.”
“And this continues because we have a ruling class in American finance that is deeply invested in short term profits from China and care nothing about its long term implications on the country, our national security,” he continued.
Rubio hailed the bill as a “private-sector solution” to left-wing oligarchy, rather than the typical big-government solutions to corporate tyranny that socialists and communists offer.
The legislation does not grant the federal government more power to regulate businesses but instead gives “shareholders with significant holdings” greater contractual control over their own investments and greater power to protect them in court.
To prevent excessive litigation, the Mind Your Own Business Act would have a limited scope.
Shareholders could only sue corporate leaders for actions with primarily non-economic effects, such as actions “in response to State law,” like leaving Texas to protest pro-life policies or ceasing operations in Georgia due to election integrity laws.
Shareholders could also file lawsuits if companies boycott “a class of persons or industry” for reasons unrelated to business or if they use “public reasoning for an action” that lies outside the company’s economic purpose.
Rubio’s bill would prevent corporate leaders from using the company’s public image or employee sentiments as a stand-in for their fiduciary duty.
“If a company is going to make these decisions under pressure from either the woke culture or some employee uprising internally, that is pushing them in this direction, then they should have to justify to their large shareholders why they’ve done it and why that’s in the best interest of the company,” Rubio told Bartiromo.
The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project endorsed the Mind Your Own Business Act, according to a press release.
FEP Director Scott Shepard called it “an important first step toward reining in the most aggressively politicized American corporations.”