Free rider is a description of people, entities, or provisions that benefit from the actions of another entity without contributing. Free rider concepts arise frequently in law and politics. For example, in labor law, non-union employees who do not pay union dues or agency shop fees but who enjoy benefits earned by the union without any cost are free riders. Free rider may also refer to parts of a contract or piece of legislation that otherwise would not get support but does so by tagging along some bigger deal (also just called a rider in this context).
[Last updated in December of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]