By Deane Barker

Definition: a position or office that requires little or no work but provides a salary

This is sometimes unethical – a no-show job, for example – but is sometimes a way to legally bestow a necessary title or position that someone needs to perform a function.

For example, someone might be “employed” by a company for $1/year in order to be legally considered an employee to perform some role.

In other cases, this is neither corrupt nor perfunctory, but is simply an example of lazy hiring and management.

Why I Looked It Up

In an article called Saving the Liberal Arts, David Perell wrote:

Without the incentives to focus on teaching, the market for professors self selects for sinecure. Professors can slack because they are among the only performers who have a guaranteed captive audience.


Added on

I was reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin:

His stable services were merely a sinecure, and consisted simply in a daily care and inspection, and directing an under-servant in his duties.


Added on

In Information Hunters, the book refers to a group of people known as “The Office of Soporific Sinecures,” refering to their tendency to sleepwalk through their cushy jobs.

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