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  • Family and Society
  • Damage and Theft

Employer’s behavior towards employee


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Kislev 14, 5774
Relating to the relationship with my employer in Dinei Mamonot: 1. in 14 months in my current job I have never been paid my monthly wages on time with delays ranging from a few days to nearly two months delay. 2. a pension fund as part of the monthly pay package - where the employer pays in a fixed percentage of the salary, and that is a legal requirement in Israel after 6 month’s employment has still not been set up. My employer keeps on blaming his CPA, but when I tried to discuss it with the CPA he informed me that my employer has asked him NOT to discuss it with me. 3. my employer discussed with me some ideas he had, to alter the scope of my responsibilities within the company - I told him that: A - I did not think it was fitting to discuss a new direction regarding my responsibilities with the company within the 9 days (in Av) and B - that I was not sure that his ideas were within the realm of my professional capabilities. I have since been informed by both existing clients and by business contacts of the company that my position has been advertised even though it had been agreed to discuss the matter after Tisha be’Av. My employer gives the impression of being "an Ehliche Yid" - a close confidant and disciple of a well-respected Admor but I really feel very hard done by and Halachically not treated correctly. What can I do within the realms of Halacha? Thank you!
You raised two objections about your employer regarding monetary issues. A. He holds back your wages which is forbidden by the Torah unless agreed otherwise. B. He does not set aside money for your pension fund, which he is obligated to do according to local law in Israel, and therefore is obligated also according to Halachah. (Employee-employer Laws and relationship under the law and custom nowadays, see at length in Sefer Mishpat Hapoalim by Rabbi Yosef Rosner ZT"L). In addition you mentioned that he is wrong for discussing with you the changes of your responsibilities in the company during the Nine Days. In this regard he was allowed to talk to you about it, despite the fact that your desire not to discuss this during a period of time when luck is not good, is certainly understandable. Another objection you noted is a problem of conduct and loyalty between the two of you in the fact that he posted your new job before you agreed to it. There are several ways of dealing with this situation and they are in the field of the "Fifth part of the Shulchan Aruch" ("Common sense").. I will suggest some of them to you and do as you understand: The ideal thing to do in such cases, is to talk to your employer about everything openly and try to improve the situation. In a case where this is not possible because you think it will not improve the situation but may worsen it, consider one of the following three ways: 1. Ask him to come and discuss the allegations and your relationship with a mutually agreed rabbinical judge. 2. Consult with his Rebbe (Admor) - Sometimes it is helpful if the Rebbe can have an influence on him. 3. Ignore the problems as much as possible if they cannot not solved, especially if you don't have the option of finding a more appropriate job.
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