Q: When is considered “payment day” in halacha?
A: The proper time for payment depends on the terms of employment and the nature of the job.
If a stipulated time was agreed upon, payment is due then. For regular employees, this typically means a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly “pay day.” For contracted work, if the invoice allows 7, 14 or 30 days for payment of services, wages are due by then. (Choshen Mishpat 339:9-10)
If the employment terms do not stipulate a time, but there is a clear local practice for that type of work, e.g., the first or last day of the month, payment is due then. (C.M. 331:1-2)
If the employment terms do not stipulate a time and there is no local custom, payment is due on the day or night that the services were completed. (C.M. 339:3-4) Therefore, for a per-diem worker or plumber who did repairs during the day, payment is due that day; for a musician who performed at an evening bar-mitzvah, payment is due that night. If the employer does not expect to pay immediately, he should clarify this beforehand with the worker.
Authored by Rabbi Meir Orlian
These articles are for learning purposes only and cannot be used for final halachic decision. The Business Halacha email is a project of Business Halacha Institute (www.businesshalacha.com) and is under the auspices of Rav Chaim Kohn.