Master-Servant Rule

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Master-Servant Rule'

A legal guideline stating that employers are responsible for the actions of their employees in many circumstances. If an employee acts negligently - even if the employer was not aware that the employee was doing so - the employer could face fines or a lawsuit. Since the Master-Servant Rule places the onus on the employer, it is important that the employer set the guidelines for appropriate employee behavior.

BREAKING DOWN 'Master-Servant Rule'

For example, an accountant working for a large accounting firm intentially overlooks erroneous sales claims by a manufacturer he is balancing the books for. If the manufacturer is audited and the sales claims are disputed, the accounting firm could be held liable for the accountant's errors.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the ...
  2. Tort Law

    The area of law that covers the majority of all civil lawsuits. ...
  3. Administrative Law

    The body of law that governs the administration and regulation ...
  4. Common Law

    In the United States, a body of unwritten laws based on precedents ...
  5. Civil Money Penalty - CMP

    A punitive fine imposed by a civil court on an entity that has ...
  6. Corporate Culture

    The beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Build A Wall Around Your Assets

    Learn how to protect your money from lawsuits, creditors and other judgment proceedings.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    Don't Get Sued: 5 Tips To Protect Your Small Business

    Find out what you can do to limit risk and keep your business running smoothly.
  3. Home & Auto

    Cover Your Company With Liability Insurance

    Every business is susceptible to legal action. Find out how to protect yours.
  4. Home & Auto

    Protect Your Company From Employee Lawsuits

    Understanding employment practices liability insurance is easy, once you know the basics.
  5. Investing News

    Employee Or Contractor? An On-Demand Economy Problem

    Several on-demand economy startups classify, or classified, their workers as contractors rather than employees. It is an unconventional approach to hiring and has been a hit with venture capitalists ...
  6. Term

    Understanding the Maintenance Margin

    A maintenance margin is the minimum amount of equity that must be kept in a margin account.
  7. Credit & Loans

    Co-signing a Loan? Make Sure You Know The Risks

    Contractually, co-signers are just as responsible for the loan as the person actually borrowing the money. Be careful not to put yourself at risk.
  8. Investing

    Trends In Copyright Litigation

    The Internet has resulted in an explosion in content. An increasing number of copyright trolls are monetizing such content through litigious practices.
  9. Investing

    3 Ways to Monetize Your Expertise

    Anyone can make money from sharing their knowledge with others.
  10. Taxes

    What's IRS Form 2848 Used For?

    It's a power of attorney tax form and here's what it can, and cannot, do.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What protections are in place for a whistleblower?

    Whistleblowers can play a critical role in ensuring the compliance, safety, honesty and legal fairness of governments and ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What should a whistleblower do if their employer retaliates?

    Although specifically prohibited by employment law, employer retaliation against whistleblowers for exposing employers' wrongdoings ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Will a hike in the minimum wage result in deadweight loss to businesses and labor?

    There have been studies which show that hikes in minimum wage create deadweight loss to business and labor. It is possible ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What does a merger or acquisition mean for the target company's employees?

    Suppose one sporting goods manufacturer merges with or acquires another sporting goods manufacturer. Before the merger and ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Does technology follow the law of diminishing marginal returns?

    The law of diminishing marginal returns does sometimes apply to the technology industry. The law states that as employee ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are some ways employers can reduce employee turn over?

    Employers can reduce employee turnover through the use of certain hiring practices, management methods, compensation, benefits ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  2. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  3. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  4. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  5. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
  6. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that can be deducted from taxable income by a widow, thereby reducing ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!