Say you work as a contractor that charges an hourly rate. If on any given day you feel sluggish due to poor sleep or some other reason, are you supposed to reduce your rate for that day to compensate for the amount of work you would have achieved if you would work 100%?

  • I will be happy to understand what you are talking about prohibition, and to know both opportunities you are considering. For example you speak receive an hourly wage dishonestly? Speak from the competition that exists between the rapidity and effectiveness of the work? I pressents it is a fascinating question which has an important place in practice.
    – kouty
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 22:36
  • Efficiency can be difficult to measure. If you are paid to produce a certain quantity of a product per hour, and you are paid for that quantity, then, that can be measured accurately. If you are paid to drive a truck and they expect you to drive 700 miles in a 15 hour shift, but weather and traffic made you drive less, should you get paid less?
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 19:44
  • eg hiring a doctor in a medical clinic must see at least 4 patients per hour is based on this we fixed her appointments. He must first see patients but will be paid on time. This is the Minhag Hamedina that fixed. If for example it must cede the place to someone else then it's time that prevails. the contract may be a patient, but with temp monitoring because the clinic wants to keep a good patient flow.
    – kouty
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 14:36
  • I cannot answer this with knowledge of Hebrew tradition, so I put my answer here instead of as a reply. In practical experience, I have 20 years of contractor experience. There are days that you will produce like you are on fire, There will be days when you will not get a moment of creative spark. As a contractor, you are employed only as long as you are satisfying the need of those who hired you. A contract is an agreement that you do something and someone will pay you for doing it. As long as both parties are satisfied with the arrangement, there is no infraction. Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


Shulchan Oruch Choshen Mishpot 337 (20) states the law (in the second part)

וכן חייב לעבוד בכל כחו שהרי יעקב הצדיק אמר "כי בכל כחי עבדתי את אביכן", לפיכך נטל שכרו בעוה"ז שנאמר "ויפרוץ האיש מאד מאד":

And similarly he (the worker) is obliged to work with all his strength because the righteous Yaakov said “for with all my strength I worked for your father” and therefore he took his reward in this world as it says “And the man became exceedingly wealthy”.

From this it would seem right to reduce your rate for that day to compensate for the amount of work you would have achieved if you would have worked with all your strength.

But Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff writes that:

In some areas of halacha, particularly the contract law rules for buying and hiring, there is a concept of minhag hamakom - that normative business practice determines what is halachically accepted. For this reason, the halacha regarding sales and employee rights are often governed by what is accepted normal practice. Since normal practice is heavily influenced by secular law, the halachic practice in these areas is influenced by the secular law. This is not because halacha recognizes the secular law but because accepted business practice is influenced by secular law.

From this it would appear that if normal practice would allow some leniency in the amount of strength expended, the worker may not be obliged to recompense his employer.

CYLOR in a practical case.

  • Is not "all your strength", all the strength have have on the given day. (Assuming the reduced strength is not due to drinking the night before....) Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 14:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .