I am employed by way of a contract with a company owned and run by a “Frum Ehreliche and Chassidic” Jew.
The employment contract specifies clearly that the monthly wage has to be paid by the 10th of the next month, and that any commission earned has to be paid immediately upon receipt by the company of the fee the commission is due on.
I have been paid late for the last three months – last month 1 month late on the wage part of my income.
On the commission part of my income even though the owner has been paid the fees out of which my commission is due to me I am still not in receipt of most of these – some already three months late.
I know my employer has financial issues/problems – unrelated to the business – but related to his personal family issues
I have two questions
1/ The basic Hallachik issue with not being paid on time
2/ In our employment contract it says that if we part ways I am not entitled to remain in the same field of business for a period of twelve months after the cessation of my employment. So I am in a position where I am not being paid – a clear and undisputed breach of contract – but should I decide to leave due to the financial burden of not being paid I will be unable to stay in the field I am currently in – a lose lose situation.
1. The basic halachic issue of not being paid on time is a grave matter. Of course, you are entitled to being paid on time, and it is in fact a (severe) Torah obligation to ensure that payment is made to employees on time.
However, it is possible that your boss will claim that he simply does not have the money to pay, in which case there is little you will be able to do.
2. True, it is a difficult situation, but this is something that you could have thought of at the time of signing the contract. It is true that this contract might not be binding according to Torah law, but it will probably be binding based on the law of the land — though I cannot be certain of this (I recommend that you check it out).
Of course, if whether you decide to leave or not you have the right to claim the payment that you are owed. In addition, you might be entitled to compensation.
Best wishes and good luck.