BYD fined over pay issues

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USA: Electric bus manufacturer BYD has been fined over $30,000 by California State labour officials after a hearing officer found the company failed to provide employees with proper rest periods or itemised payslips. The Office of the Labor Commissioner upheld penalties of nearly $35,000.

BYD said labour issues involving the firm had been resolved and the violations had resulted from “good faith technical errors” – such as allowing staff to take a single 20-minute break period to eat breakfast in a group each morning. California law requires employees to grant their workers separate 10-minute breaks during an eighthour shift.

Adding to the complication arising over BYD’s contract to supply 10 electric buses to Long Beach Transit, the Federal Transportation Administration’s now contends BYD was not in compliance with federal rules intended to aid minority- and woman-owned subcontracting firms when it won the $12.1m contract. If this contention is upheld, Long Beach Transit would be unable use federal grant money on the bus contract. This would force Long Beach to spend its own money on the project or re-open the contract to new bidding.