* Case had put the Warren Buffett-backed automaker in
* Watchdog objects to use of yuan for wage payments
* BYD agrees to pay $1,900 to resolve matter
SHANGHAI, Jan 29 China's BYD Co Ltd
said a California labour law watchdog had dropped
charges against it over wage payments in a case that had put the
Warren Buffet-backed automaker's labour practices under the
BYD was accused by the California Labor Commissioner's
office in October of failing to pay five Chinese workers
temporarily working in the United States the required minimum
wage of $8 per hour.
BYD said in a statement on Wednesday that the Commissioner
withdrew the case after the company defended itself by
submitting documents that showed its workers were paid the
equivalent of $12-$16 per hour.
But as BYD had paid the wages in Chinese currency instead of
U.S. dollars - a practice that the Commission objected to - the
company agreed to pay $1,900 to resolve the matter, it said.
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.