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Paying on Time1 Part 14

In the previous articles we discussed various types of workers to whom baal tolin applies. We focused on salaried employees and service providers. This week, we move on to craftsmen. Bal tolin can apply to craftsmen in certain circumstances:

1. When a craftsman perform a service for someone on a one-off basis it is usual to pay the worker upon completion of the job. If the worker does not verbally agree to push off the payment, then the employee could easily transgress bal tolin. For example, if a plumber comes on a one-time visit, and fixes a problem, the home owner must pay him upon the completion of the work if she does not pay him and does not have a valid reason for doing so[2] , then she transgresses bal tolin. However, if he verbally agrees to delay payment, then there is no bal tolin.

2. Subcontractors do not usually expect payment from the contractor immediately upon completion of the work. Rather, the accepted practice is to wait a short time for payment. Therefore, there is no bal tolin.


1. Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.

2. See earlier articles for examples of exemptions.


Text Copyright 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org

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