Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- entitled / ɛnˈtaɪt ld / (adj) – having the right to enjoy certain privileges and benefits
I don’t think I’m entitled to take a paid day off because I’m not a full-time employee.
- exempt / ɪgˈzɛmpt / (v) – to allow someone not to do something (especially a law, rule, or guideline)
The athlete was exempted from taking the exam because he had to travel for a game.
- back wages / bæk ˈweɪ ʤəz / (n) – the difference between the amount of money that an employee was paid and the amount that he/she should have been paid
I got $1500 worth of back wages from my previous company.
- lump sum / ˌlʌmp ˈsʌm / (n) – an amount of money paid at one time
The lottery winner can decide whether to receive $10,000 a month for life or a lump sum of $1,000,000.
- in compliance with / ɪn kəmˈplaɪ əns wɪθ / (idiom) – in a way that is required by something such as a rule, law, or standard
The man paid $100 in compliance with the judge’s order.
Read the text below.
A restaurant in Florida has been ordered to pay over $70,000 to its employees after numerous labor law violations.
The Tampa Bay Brewing Company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to the US Department of Labor. The restaurant broke the law by allowing managers to take money from the restaurant’s tip pool even though they were not entitled to tips.
The Department of Labor added that the company incorrectly exempted a manager from overtime.
According to the FLSA, companies can pay less than the minimum wage to employees who get tips as long as the companies meet all the legal requirements. However, by allowing managers to receive some of the tips, the Tampa Bay Brewing Company became ineligible to use tips as part of their employees’ wages. The restaurant was then required to pay 36 employees the full minimum wage.
General Manager Jeffrey Hall explained that the company has agreed to pay $70,575 in total. According to the company, it has processed the repayments, and the affected employees will receive their back wages in a lump sum.
Tampa Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff said that the agency’s goal is to make sure all employers have a good understanding of their responsibilities in compliance with the law. He encouraged employers or workers with questions to call their offices and speak privately with trained agency personnel.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
• Do you think the restaurant will be greatly affected by the alleged pay violations? Why or why not?
• Do you think the US Department of Labor should let the restaurant pay the back wages after the pandemic? Why or why not?
• Do you think most companies in your country give fair wages? Why or why not?
• What can companies/businesses do to ensure that they give fair wages to their employees? Discuss.