California Drops Wage Violation Allegations Against BYD • Long Beach Post

Though other allegations still loom, BYD Motors—the bus company set to provide Long Beach Transit with its inaugural fleet of electric buses sometime this year—has been cleared of supposed wage violations at its regional facilities.

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The California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement opened an investigation against BYD in October of last year, alleging the bus manufacturing company had failed to provide workers at its Los Angeles office and Lancaster factory payment above California’s minimum wage, workers’ compensation insurance, proper rest breaks or sufficient pay documentation. Since the accusations became public, BYD has defended itself, saying at no time did they underpay their employees.

According to Lanny Davis, the attorney representing BYD, the bus manufacturer provided the California Labor Commissioner with documents that proved five Chinese nationals working temporarily in the latter half of 2013 had been paid between $12 to $16 per hour, well above the $8 minimum wage in California.

“The Labor Commissioner’s position is that BYD should have paid these five employees in U.S. dollars, not in their home currency,” Davis said in a statement released from his office. “While BYD disagrees with this position as a matter of law, in the spirit of resolving this matter, BYD has agreed to pay $1,900 for this alleged error. This means that the hearing on the minimum wage issue [scheduled for January 28] will no longer be necessary. BYD appreciates the cooperation and communication that led to this resolution.”

Two other allegations—supposed omissions of information from check stubs on all employees and purported rest break violations—are still being investigated.

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