Employment Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Employment, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Employment?

n. the hiring of a person for compensation. It is important to determine if acts occurred in the “scope of employment” to establish the possible responsibility of the employer to the employee for injuries on the job or to the public for acts of the employee.

History and Meaning of Employment

Employment refers to the act of hiring an individual to complete a task or perform a job. It is a crucial aspect of most contemporary societies, and it is the means by which people obtain the resources required to sustain themselves and their families. The concept of employment has been vital to human society for centuries, and its meaning and importance continue to evolve.

The industrial revolution in the late 18th century led to significant changes in employment, with the rise of factories and mass production. At the turn of the 20th century, new labor laws were enacted to protect employees from unfair labor practices, including the use of child labor and unsafe working conditions. Since then, employment laws have continued to evolve, providing greater benefits, protections, and equal opportunities to employees of all backgrounds.

Examples of Employment

  1. John works as a software developer in a technology company and earns an annual salary.
  2. Martha works as a teacher at a public school and is paid a monthly wage.
  3. James has been unemployed for several months and is looking for a new job to support his family.
  4. Sarah is a freelancer and is self-employed, which means that she doesn't work for a specific employer and receives compensation based on individual contracts.
  5. Linda is on maternity leave, which means that she is still employed by her company but doesn't work for a specified period.

Legal Terms Similar to Employment

  1. Contract - A legally binding agreement between two or more parties regarding specific terms.
  2. Labor Law - The set of laws that govern the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees.
  3. Discrimination - The act of treating an individual unfairly or differently based on their (perceived) characteristics, such as age, race, gender, etc.
  4. Minimum wage - The lowest amount of compensation that an employer must pay an employee for their labor.
  5. Overtime - Additional compensation that an employer must pay employees who work more than a specific number of hours per day or week.