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Clocking In

1. Am I allowed to clock in for work when I am not working if I know for sure that I will make up the time later? The reason I ask this is because I work alone for a company and they prefer that I work at specific hours but I may not always able to do it. So instead, I clock in those specific hours and work during different hours.

2. Also, the company is very high demanding and they assume that I do a lot more then I do. In fact I give them a daily report of what they want me to do, saying “this job has now been taken care of” even though in actuality it has not. Is that a problem?

If the above situations are problematic, can you give me advice on how to handle them correctly?

I am greatly appreciative for your help.

Answer:

Geneivas Daas is prohibited both with regard to Jews and non-Jews (Chulin 94a), and giving a false report of what you do, so that you employers think you do far more than you actually do, is geneivas daas. According to several authorities this can involve a Torah prohibition. The first issue of clocking in hours and working different hours would also constitute a problem of geneivas daas, because the employers are paying for working specific hours, and not for hours of your choice.

Although I understand the difficulty of it, the solution to the issue would be to tell the employers that from now on (there is no obligation concerning the past) you would like to work different hours, and to be truthful with regard to what work has been completed. I hope that the employers will appreciate your honesty, and not take any negative action.

I would add that you would probably be better off consulting a Rav who knows you and your circumstances personally, from whom you may receive further counselling.

Sources: Although a non-Jew’s “mistake” is permitted under certain circumstances, many authorities maintain that it is prohibited to trick a non-Jew, on account of the prohibition of geneivas daas (see Rema, Choshen Mishpat 348:2; the stricter position is upheld by Mordechai, Ravyah, Rambam, Semag, Rach, Shulchan Aruch Harav, and others). In addition, Shach (Choshen Mishpat 348:3) and Yam Shel Shlomo (Bava Kama 10:20) write that there it is certainly prohibited to trick a non-Jew into paying money or giving items against his wishes.

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