October 15, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #599951
I have a friend who works for a company. The Boss told them they will be closed for Chol Hamoed WITHOUT pay and it seems there is no vacation policy at this company so my friend will not get pay for 2 weeks
(The Company does NOT pay for Sukkos Yom Tov and did not Pay For Rosh Hashanah either) so my friend is out almost 2 weeks pay and they live pay check to pay check (You are allowed to work Chol Hamoed if you need the money)
I understand if the boss wants to take off, but do they have the right to force the employees to take off without pay (especially since some do need the money)October 16, 2011 1:07 am at 1:07 am #817719
They’re not anymore obligated to pay for Chol Hamoed than they are obligated to pay for Shabbos.
BTW, a Jewish business is supposed to close for Chol Hamoed.October 16, 2011 1:55 am at 1:55 am #817720bezalelParticipant
The boss has the right to lockout employees unless they have a contract. Locked out employees can collect unemplyment compensation for the duration of the lockout.October 16, 2011 2:08 am at 2:08 am #817721
In NY there is a one-week waiting period before unemployment insurance becomes active.October 16, 2011 2:08 am at 2:08 am #817722
My friend is not union , has no contract and is a Hire at will employee
I did suggest that unemployment suggestion that might be the best idea, they are struggling and it would help themOctober 16, 2011 2:26 am at 2:26 am #817723
What terms were agreed upon when he took the job?October 16, 2011 2:36 am at 2:36 am #817724popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Forgetting legalities, I do see zahavasdad making a point, that maybe this person should keep his business open on chol hamoed in order to help his employees, or pay them for the time. It would be a nice thing to do.October 16, 2011 2:45 am at 2:45 am #817725amusedParticipant
Perhaps business is doing poorly and he cannot afford to stay open in the current economic environment.October 16, 2011 3:19 am at 3:19 am #817726
Does he get paid by the week or by the job?
I pay my employees for the entire yom tuv although we are closed. I feel that this is what’s right. These people work to make a living.October 16, 2011 3:24 am at 3:24 am #817727
They get paid by the hour
There is no employee handbook.October 16, 2011 3:29 am at 3:29 am #817728
zahavasdad, I used to be in the same boat. That’s what being an hourly 1099 employee means. however, if the employees work a certain amount of hours, the boss is not allowed to have the employees be 1099’s. He is legally forced to make them w2’s and give benefits.October 16, 2011 3:42 am at 3:42 am #817729amusedParticipant
Jothar: W2 employees are not legally entitled to benefits or to be paid when closed.October 16, 2011 4:32 am at 4:32 am #817730
one benefit w2’s are clearly entitled to is to not be double-taxed like 1099’s. Traditionally, w2’s do get benefits.
I heard that the B&H office is closed on chol hamoed but they give 15 days of vacation and you can use it as you please. Other frum companies have other policies. My recommendation is to find another frum employer who is a bit nicer about these things.October 16, 2011 4:36 am at 4:36 am #817731
Why not a non-Jewish employer, Jothar?October 16, 2011 6:10 am at 6:10 am #817732
Dr. Seuss, it is clear that the poster has chosen to work for a frum company instead of a non-Jewish one. I made an assumption that he prefers working in a frum environment.October 16, 2011 7:00 am at 7:00 am #817733600 Kilo BearMember
Yes. The boss may not want his workers coming in unsupervised – that is generally a good policy when you are dealing with hourly workers.
In times like this, hourly workers should be very thankful they have any work at all. The boss could very well be living order to order as well, and he is probably careful not to have work build up on Yom Tov and Chol Hamoed.
If times were better, any good boss would look for heterim to keep people working whenever possible. There were years when I went off to EY or Paris for Chol Hamoed and kept people working for me while I was away. Now I do everything virtually through subcontractors and am also a subcontractor myself so there is no inyan.October 16, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am #817734
Working for a frum company usually has its benefits, like not having to deal with working on chol hamoed, tisha b’av and purim.
However the frum compaies I deal with, all pay even for the dates they are closed. Doesn matter if the empoyee is Jewish or not.October 16, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am #817735
The person is on a W-2 not a 1099
Hourly workers does not mean you are 1099 which is an independent contractor, it means you are paid by the hour (Like $10 an hour ) as opposed to say $400 a week which means you are paid $400 for the week no matter how many hours you workOctober 16, 2011 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #817736
Situations such as these (no matter the religious affiliation of the employer or employee) are why an employment agreement should be in place.October 16, 2011 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #817737
My friend told me that the boss agreed to pay for Rosh Hashanah when they hired and he backed off when Rosh Hashanah approached and told them they would not be paid(Chol Hamoed was never discussed)
Frankly I have worked for both jews and non-jews and generally except a couple of times, I never had an employee handbook either describing the work envoirment, Benefits were generally sort of informal so I dont begrudge my friend for not getting this in writing and as some have said, they did need a job when this offer came. You do have to be thankful to have a job in this environment.October 16, 2011 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #817738
I can emphasize with both sides.
I don’t know what your friend does or the type of business he works for. Perhaps it is the type of business where the frum owner doesn’t make much money either since very few people conduct this type of business on yom tov or chol hamoed and the owner can’t afford to pay employees when the business is not operational.
On the other hand, not getting paid for 2 weeks is not an easy thing to deal with either.
Has this employee spoken with the employer about their Rosh Hashana agreement and why the terms were changed?October 16, 2011 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #817739BowwowParticipant
I think it’s a sticky situation, but unless there is some sort of formal agreement or policy in place, I don’t see how one would be “required” to pay for chol hamoed.October 17, 2011 2:20 am at 2:20 am #817740
Ill admit this is what really bothers me
If one worked for a non-jew and he told you that they were closed on xmas, you would expect to be paid and if the non-jew said, I am not paying you for xmas you would be upset. Why should we expect less from a jew when it comes to Yom TovOctober 17, 2011 8:43 am at 8:43 am #817742
I am sure that the company your friend works is closed on Xmas. Does the boss pay for Xmas and other non Jewish holidays?October 17, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am #817743m in IsraelMember
zehavasdad — I don’t know where you have worked, but MANY non-Jewish employers are closed on non-Jewish holidays and do NOT pay their hourly employees for those days. Generally speaking my experience has been that hourly employees are never payed for days that the employer is closed unless they have some sort of vacation day deal in place. If there was no deal in place, your friend’s experience is pretty acceptable in the general world. If there was a deal (spoken or otherwise), that is a totally different issue that has nothing to do with Chol Hamoed. . .
For example my sister worked in the office of a non-Jewish company, and they were closed for many non-Jewish and legal holidays. She did NOT get payed for those days, but had the option to use them as part of her vacation time. Since she needed her vacation time (it was not many days per year) for the Jewish holidays she always lost pay on the non-Jewish hoidays.
My sister-in-law also worked for a non-Jewish company. Their policy was slightly different. They required you to use the week of Dec. 25, when they were closed, as part of your vacation days, even though they were closed. So if your deal with them included 20 “vacation days”, it really was only 15, as they counted that week against your deal.
As a previous poster said, the point is that hourly employees are exactly that — paid for by the hour that they work, whether the not working is by their choice or by the choice of the employer. (I do think it would have been more appropriate business protocol to inform the employees when they were hired as to which days they would not be working, so they can plan accordingly, but that is a side point.)October 17, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am #817745
While I dont know if the company is open or closed on Xmas, I suspect it might be open. Given who the owners are and where the place is located, I do suspect most of their customers do not celebrate xmas.
My friend does work on Sundays (Its a regular day for them)
I did also try to figure out how many employees this company has, If my friend was the only employee I would be more sympathetic to the employer, but It seems this company has 50 employees or more, It is not a small company.
While having a job is a privilege and not a right, Owning a company is also a priviledge not a right. One should treat your employees the proper way according to general custom. One MUST pay their employees on the books, One should offer benefits and pay that is the customary benefits and pay for a similar position no matter who you work for.
For the record I do get paid for Yom Tov and I get paid for Xmas and I have always been paid for these days. There have been a few times I worked Xmas, but I was paid extra for it.
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