Employees working on Shabbos/Yom Tov

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    I was wondering if there is any heter at all for a Jewish (frum) company to have employees work for them on Yom Tov?


    This is not MY company I am talking about. I thought it was wrong when I heard about it and was wondering what you all have to say about it.

    Feif Un

    It’s not so simple. There’s a difference between requiring them to work on Shabbos, and someone choosing to. For example, if you own a store, you can’t make non-Jews open it on Shabbos for you, because you’re requiring them to work. However, let’s say you ask an employee to do some research on a product for you. On Shabbos, he decides, on his own, to do some work from his home computer. You didn’t ask him to do it then. He could have done it on Friday, or on Sunday, if he wanted. That might be ok.

    Ask your Rabbi, you won’t get a real psak here.



    There is a well known discount store chain in NY that had a sign on its branch near Macy’s and J2 announcing that they are in compliance with halacha when they open on Shabbos.


    there are a number of hetterim but also a number of caveats on this matter.

    Firstly, if you have CONTRACTED for a job and the non-Jew has the option of when to do the work, then clearly, he can do it whenever he wants to, including shabbos.it is for HIS benefit, not yours that he chooses whatever day he wishes.

    For employess,the original heter is based on the concept of “behavla-ah”, being “swallowed up”. This means that you pay an employee a “weekly” wage and he works the hours that he needs,including Shabbos. Because you do NOT pay him directly for the work on shabbos, it is not deemed that you have paid him for “meleches shabbos”,but only for his work in the rest fo the week. This is why so many non-Jews are able to work for jews on shabbos,as long as it is not expressly said that he has to work on shabbos. Otherwise, no gentile would be able to work for a Jew.

    The idea of “amirah lenochri”, telling a non-Jew to do work on shabbos, is mitigated only if it benefits him also too.

    Additionally, if you own a business and you have a gentile PARTNER, then all the profits of shabbos are deemed to accrue to the non-Jewish partner.Hence, you do not profit from “meleches shabbos”.

    These are ,generally, the hetterim of having work done on shabbos or owning a business that is open on shabbos. HOWEVER, in case of a business, if it is CLEAR that the busniess is jewish-owned (say the name or the reputation) then you cannot have it open on shabbos because it is so public that a “jewish” business is open on shabbos.I don’t know the basis of the heter for the business named above-unless it was not really clear that it was Jewish-owned and it was only part-owned by jews.

    The above are only guidelines and it may differ from case to case. Ask your local Rabbi!

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