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Cancelling a babysitter after she began working


Shalom Aleichem.

Yesterday I asked a high school girl in my neighborhood to come to apartment to babysit my one year old daughter. She was supposed to come at 4:20 and I asked her to stay until 6:45 when second seder would be over and around when my wife was going to be getting home. She came at 4:20 and I left. As I was walking down the stairs of my apartment building my wife called me and told me she was getting dismissed early and would be home a little after 5. I was going to pay her ten dollars for the hour she worked. I then realized that I may be required to pay her the full amount like a poel batul. In this circumstance does התחלת המלאכה  require to pay the full amount? Is this different because she is not a babysitter by profession rather it is more like paid chesed? Is there a sevara that the assumption of these sort of arrangements is that the job goes until the person gets home?

Another related question is would there be bal talin on this type of payment, or does it depend on the reason why I have to pay it?


According to what I understand of the story, this is a case where the wage was agreed upon beforehand and the worker already started working, so you would have to give her the full amount, however you could pay her like a poel botil for the remaining hours of work. (I’m not sure how much of a difference there is between babysitting and poel botil). What you can do is offer her to do other light work that wouldn’t be harder to do than babysitting, such as folding laundry, or leave, if she chooses to leave then you don’t have to pay her for that time, however the work that you give her cannot be harder .

Regarding Lo tolin, this should also apply, as you are paying her for a service and it isn’t a purchase. Therefore she should be paid, before shkia, if she finished working before then, if not then as soon as possible before the star come out. If she finished working and it was already night, she should be paid before the morning.



CH:M 335-1, 333-1, 339-3.

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