What word(s) would you use to describe a business or company that pretends to do the legal/right thing regarding employees, but in reality the company does not care.

This issue pertains to legalities in the workplace, and the company in question is barely doing what is "legal" about this problem so they don't get sued. In fact, they are doing nothing at all to resolve or fix this problem.

I need some words or short descriptions I could use in a court of law, and on legal documents to describe this company.

  • Interesting thesaurus puzzle, but I don't think such a judgmental word would be appropriate in a legal document.
    – Mitch
    Jun 28, 2018 at 13:33
  • 3
    Please add an example sentence, it helps to narrow down possible answers. Also try to say more specifically what sort of words you are looking for (e.g. I think legalese is mostly off-topic here).
    – JJJ
    Jun 28, 2018 at 13:35
  • Here are many words related to fraudulent. Onelook.com is a great resource for reverse definitions.
    – Mitch
    Jun 28, 2018 at 13:37
  • 1
    Your first paragraph says the company "pretends to do the legal ... thing", while the second paragraph says they are "barely doing what is 'legal'" as well as "doing nothing at all", and your third paragraph indicates that the answers might be used in a court of law. Would you mind clarifying whether you want words indicating "the company broke a law and covered it up" or words indicating "the company didn't break a law, but just barely"? Jun 28, 2018 at 15:30
  • There is new(?) use of the suffix "-washing" (as in whitewashing) to indicate things like a company pretending to be environmentally aware = "greenwashing".
    – user184130
    Jun 28, 2018 at 16:08

3 Answers 3


We call this practice "paying lip service" to something:

pay lip service
Fig. to express loyalty, respect, or support for something insincerely

The Free Dictionary Online


When you're doing something solely out of duty, and have little interest in the task, and apply minimal effort, the word to describe that behavior is "perfunctory".

Here's an example sentence: A manager who disrespects his employees shouldn't expect more than perfunctory birthday wishes from them.

done without care or interest or merely as a form or routine; superficial



"Guise of compliance" is somewhat idiomatic here -


They [compliance officers] want to make sure that they are not manipulated to get something accomplished under the guise of compliance that management hasn't been able to accomplish otherwise ...

In Search of Health Care Compliance 2001 By Roy Snell, Debbie Troklus

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