Archive for the ‘Employer/Employee Relationships’ Category

Paying a Babysitter on Time

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

by Rabbi Yehonoson Dovid Hool


I pay my child’s babysitter at the end of the week, as per our agreement. Is this a kiyum of b’yomo titen scharo?

Rabbi Yehonoson Dovid Hool answered:

It depends. If the day you pay is the last day that she actually works, you have performed the mitzvah. (If the work ends during the day, you must pay before sundown; if it ends at night you must pay before morning.) If, however, you pay a day (or more) after the completion of the work, you have missed out on the mitzvah of a Beyomo.

This applies if this arrangement was agreed at the beginning of the employment – if it was not, and the babysitter requested pay on the day she finished work and you pushed it off to another day, in most cases you would have transgressed the mitzvah of Lo Tallin.

The Unpaid Agent

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

by Rabbi Baruch Rubanowitz


I recently bought an apartment. A real estate agent made the initial contact between the contractor and myself but she was never available to help with subsequent issues when I needed her. Months after the sale went through, she contacted me and said she had heard that I had eventually bought the apartment and wants her commission. I was shocked to hear her claim, as I was extremely unhappy with her poor service as an agent. I had expected the agent to help with financial negotiations.

She said that I had verbally agreed to 1% and that her husband, who was there at the time, would back her up on this point. I remember the conversation slightly differently: I recall her asking for 1.5% and my not agreeing to that amount. Nor do I remember agreeing to 1%, but it is possible.

I checked around and found that the rates for real estate agents are not uniform. Apparently they vary from agent to agent and depend on the bargaining skills of the buyers. Other buyers in the same project used agents who are not more experienced or significantly better than the one I used. The commissions ranged between 0.5% and 2%. Many people paid 1%.

How much do I have to pay, if anything?


The fundamental question is this: Did she provide the service that she said she would?

You say you are extremely unhappy with her service. Does that mean that she did the minimal amount of work that entitles her to compensation