I’m taking some online courses. I made a mistake when I registered and was charged $400 for not registering in the proper order. An employee in the college registration office did not advise me correctly and therefore the mistake happened. I can appeal the charge if I implicate the employee. I’m not sure if she’s Jewish or not (most probably not) and if she’ll be penalized for mistake (maybe not). Is it ok to appeal the case which would involve mentioning the employee’s mistake or should I l’chatchila just let it go and pay the charges.

Answer:

It is fine to appeal the decision, and you can mention the mistake.

Although your concern for the employee is commendable, you don’t have to be concerned for this when your personal loss is at stake. The Chafetz Chaim notes this as a possibility even for clearing a person’s name, and it is certainly true for matters of financial losses. The bottom line is that in this case you are not being malicious towards the employee, but only presenting your case for exemption from the charge, and therefore the prohibition doesn’t apply.

Best wishes.

Sources:

See Chafetz Chaim (Beer Mayim Chaim, Rechilus, beginning of Klal 9).

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