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Holiday – Sabbath Pay

Rabbi, Shomer Shabos question, clarity please;

My employer, (a Telcom in Qc, Canada,) is mandated to pay for statutory holiday work over and above my normal rate, (which is fun and fine by me, mostly; But I realise the ideal of federal or statutory holidays vary from time-to-time and palace to place.)
This year the 25th and 26th of December (2015) are for my employer atleast, stat hoidays.
(My Employer has long ago provided me with the Fridays from the afternoon forward, and Saturdays until nightfall “off.”) Thus, having not to work the totality of Friday and Saturday, –no work will take place by me, I am one among literal thousands– I will still receive compensation.

My thinking is this; money ‘earned’ on the Sabbath is only *similar* to work on the Sabbath (forbidden) while it is not the same as handling money (on the Sabath and not permitted) per se, it might be the same as deriving wealth from something forbidden like from Pigs, which should be pretty straight forward.

Jewishness and this concern, per the bureaucracy in which I find myself surrounded–payroll is particularly byzantine and murkey– is barely noted and my concern would seem incomprehensible. I really think they would not see how the time and means of my pay, or the reason could be less than acceptable to me, unless I was asking for more than my due, this I feel they could grasp… I checked into my regular (both senses) Sabath non-availability, in the system where I submit my hours, it holds the weight of a note form an MD and is not distinguished as such, I digress.

I would think merely getting rid of it, not emptying my pockets into a fast moving stream or river, but making of it a tzegakah; but in this case then is it okay to give only that percentage of pay which would correspond to the hours which are that weeks sabathstime, or would the full 2 days be the better course, or if 2 cups of fetid water is added to eight cups of potable water, if I then remove 2 cups what have I achieved, nothing certain? mustn’t all wages in that 2 week period, be forefeit? Or because its all just numbers on paper, or merely ideas; A contest of ideas found in the collective minds of the participants in my time, and place, and society and country, with those time’s and places that gave rise to our understanding of the restriction? Its possible I’m over-thinking it.

Reducio : If I continue to be employed in this place on the 25th and 26th of December this year it is a forgone conclusion that I am to be given money accorded for the 12AM-11:59:59PM days that fall either side and through Sabbath, since work is something I would not do for compensation in that time; am I right to receive compensation for something I did not do, in this time? *Framed thus, its almost seems as if I’m asking ‘how permissible, and in what circumstances are fraud and theft from the perspective of judaism?’*
If I am not right to do so, and I cannot help its being done to/for me, what then is my next best course.
Canada has a fairly robust and coherent social safety net for North America but I think resigning oneself from employment because of fear of payment, might be one of the spaces in the net my whole self and my family my family might pass through unaided (both senses)??

Your clarity, please?


As long as you are not working on the Sabbath, you may accept the pay. While for technical or other reasons it may be booked as work on Sabbath, in fact they are paying you as an employee for your work you provide in general. The prohibition of receiveing wages for Sabbath work is only for work done on that day itself.

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