Which would take precedence in a small/medium business owner’s tzedakah obligations: Should the business owner increase the wages of his employees at the expense of increased tzedakah, or would industry standard wages be acceptable if accompanied with ones basic tzeddakah obligations?

Answer:

If the workers are badly off, and giving them extra will be considered tzedakah (they qualify for receiving charity), then there is room to give the workers precedence: The principle is that one should give those to whom one is closest first, and just as neighbors get priority, so too workers get priority.

However, if the workers don’t quality for receiving charity, and they are getting on fine with their present wages, then giving them extra will not be considered tzedakah, and tzedakah money should be directed elsewhere at those who qualify to receive it.

Best wishes.

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