Last week we began discussion of the people to whom bal tolin does and does not apply. We focused on salaried employees. Another category of worker to whom bal tolin applies, is service providers, that includes anyone who is hired to perform a service. For example, a doctor, dentist, gardener, plumber, etc.
If the service provider does not expect payment at the end of the work, rather he sends a bill for the services at a later date, then there is no bal tolin. However, one must be aware that there is a rabbinical prohibition to be delinquent when they do request payment.
If however, the service provider specifies that he does want payment at the end of the service then the Torah prohibition of bal tolin does apply.
Workers who provide their services to someone on a regular basis, usually do not object if their payment is deferred to the next time of service. In such a case, there is no bal tolin if he is not paid on time. However, if he specifically asks to be paid at the end of the work, then bal tolin does apply.
1. Much of the information for this essay is taken from “Halachos of Other People’s Money” by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.
Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org
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