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Paying Extra At the End of the Employment

Question:

I pay my babysitter on Friday for the week’s work, which includes Friday. When paying at the end of the week, is there anything wrong with paying a few extra dollars (rounding up to the nearest five or ten). That is, do we consider this to be a loan, since I’m not paying after the first day of service but only at the end of the week, and therefore I couldn’t pay any more than she actually earned, due to ribbis? (If you could provide a mareh makom it would be appreciated) Thanks.

Answer:

Since at the outset the arrangement was that the baysitter would receive payment only on the last day that she worked that week, the agreement is regarded as one long agreement with an obligation to pay only at the end (rather than a daily employment agreement with every day’s wages becoming a debt, to be paid later). See Rashi Bava Metzia 73a d”h Hapochu.

In that case there is actually no loan here. The debt begins when she finishes work, and as long as you pay before sundown (assuming that she finishes her work during the day) you are not paying late but are paying on time. As such, any extra money that you give her cannot be construed as paying extra for the delay in payment, and there is no problem of Ribbis.

On the contrary, rounding up the payment to the nearest five or ten is most commendable!

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