China’s BYD Co. has announced that a California labor law watchdog had dropped charges against it over wage issues regarding the payment of Chinese nationals working for the company’s BYD Coach & Bus subsidiary in the United States. Reuters is reporting that California’s Labor Commissioner’s office in October accused BYD of failing to pay five Chinese workers temporarily working in the United States the required minimum wage of $8/hr.
According to BYD, the labor commission withdrew the wage case against the company’s electric bus building facility in California after BYD produced documents that showed its workers were paid the equivalent of $12 to $16 (73 to 97 yuan) per hour. While that case was withdrawn, the labor commission had objections to the company’s practice of paying wages in yuans, rather than in U.S. currency and BYD has agreed to pay to pay a fee of $1,900 (11,500 yuan) to resolve the matter, it said.
Other aspects of the Labor Commissioner’s investigation will continue. BYD denies allegations that employees’ check stubs failed to include necessary information and that eight employees were denied rest breaks.
As Chinese companies locate operations in the United States and Europe they are discovering that they have to operate under more stringent industrial regulations and labor laws than they are used to back home.
BYD currently employs 50 local workers in California and says that it plans to add 100 more next year to fill contracts already signed to supply electric transit buses to the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach as well as to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.