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What's the difference between an "employee" and an "associate"?

I've noticed in recent years that many stores have posted signs which refer to their retail workers as "associates" rather than "employees". Is there an actual difference between the two positions (i.e. does an associate have better pay or benefits, is harder to fire, etc.), or is it just some new euphemism for the same good old fashioned wage slave?

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    No difference. It's just a euphemism. 'Employee' means 'someone who works for me. 'Associate' means 'someone who works -with- me. But whether your boss calls you one or the other, you are still working -for- him.

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  • 10 years ago

    An associate is just someone you interact with, often for business purposes, but not necessarily. It's generally an informal relationship.

    Sometimes junior members of a professional body are called associates, just as a way to designate their status in the organisation.

    If they're using "associate" to designate or typical employee post then it's just a euphemism designed to make the organisation feel they have more informal, friendly working patterns. Or it's just being used as a weasel word.

    An employee denotes a relatively formal working agreement.

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I find in some companies they use the title of associate rather than employee to get tax break. Like UPMC it's already" non-profit" so I guess they have to make money so how, maybe to pay off that 50 million dollar jet.

    • Francine5 years agoReport

      sorry about last comment misspelled word meant to spell "some how"

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  • demian
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    What Is An Associate

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