Legal Dictionary


Definition of employer


    From French employeur.


  • enPR: ĕm-ploi'ūr
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪə(r)


employer (plural employers)

  1. A person, firm or other entity which pays for or hires the services of another person.

    It might be said that it is the ideal of the employer to have production without employees and the ideal of the employee is to have income without work. -E. F. Schumacher

Related terms


  • Alphagram: eelmopry
  • polyreme
  • reemploy

Further reading

An employer is a person or institution that hires employees or workers. Employers offer hourly wages or a salary in exchange for the worker's labor power, depending upon whether the employee is paid by the hour or a set rate per pay period. A salaried employee is typically not paid more for more hours worked than the minimum, whereas wages are paid for all hours worked, including overtime.

Employers include individuals hiring a babysitter to governments and businesses which may hire many thousands of employees. In most western societies, governments are the largest single employers but most of the work force is employed in small and medium businesses in the private sector.

Although employees may contribute to an enterprise, the employer maintains control over the productive base of land and capital, and is the entity named in contracts. The employer typically maintains ownership of intellectual property created by an employee within the scope of employment and as a function thereof. These inventions or creations become the property of the employer based on a concept known as "works for hire".

An employers' relative level of power over employees is dependent upon numerous factors; the most influential being the nature of the employment relationship. The relationship employers share with employees is affected by three significant factors - interests, control and motivation. It is up to employers to effectively manage and balance these factors to ensure a harmonious and productive working relationship.

The employment relationship is thus a difficult challenge for employers to manage, as all three facets are often in direct competition with each other, with interests, control and motivation often clashing in the equally important quest for individual employee autonomy, employer command and control and ultimate profits.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     salacious
2.     prima facie
3.     landed property
4.     lex situs
5.     lex fori
6.     respondent
7.     charge
8.     beyond reasonable doubt
9.     lex causae
10.     entitlement