SHANGHAI Jan 29 China's BYD Co Ltd
said it has agreed to pay a fine to settle a
California case over wage payments - a case that had put the
Warren Buffet-backed automaker's labor practices under the
Last October, BYD was accused of failing to pay five Chinese
workers temporarily working in the United States the required
minimum wage of $8 per hour.
It rejected that argument, saying in a statement on
Wednesday that its workers were paid the equivalent of $12-$16
per hour in Chinese currency, but it said it had agreed to pay a
$1,900 fine to resolve the matter.
BYD said that its hearing with California's Labor
Commissioner's office will continue on two other matters - the
alleged omission of information on employees' check stubs and
the alleged denial of flexibility on rest breaks for eight
employees. BYD said it denied the allegations.
The dispute highlights potential obstacles Chinese companies
face as they begin to make inroads in mature markets like the
United States and Europe where they are under more stringent
industrial laws and regulations.
BYD, which makes electric buses in the United States,
currently employs 50 local workers and plans to add 100 more
The Chinese company is stepping up efforts to sell electric
vehicles overseas. It signed several contracts last year,
including one to supply the U.S. cities of Los Angeles and Long
Beach, and to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.