Thus far we have seen that there are a number of Torah prohibitions with
regard to paying a worker on time. Accordingly, this is a very serious
matter that should be treated with the same level of care as all Torah
prohibitions. The authorities give a number of suggestions as to how one
can avoid the pitfall of transgressing bal tolin.
1. It is advisable to have the money ready to pay before hiring the worker.
If there is any possibility that the employer will not be available to pay
the worker when he has completed his work, he should make arrangements to
have someone else there who will pay.
2. When a worker is hired through an intermediary there is no bal tolin.
Therefore, the Gemara advises that if the employer is concerned that he may
not arrive in time to pay the worker, then he should ask someone else to
hire the worker for him. By doing this, even if the employer is not able to
pay on time, he did not transgress bal tolin. Needless to say, this should
not be used as an excuse to avoid paying on time when the employer is able
to pay and be present at the time of payment.
We will continue next time with more suggestions how to avoid 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. This is the generic term that covers all the Mitzvos relating to paying
a worker. It literally means, ‘don’t delay overnight’.