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Undue Commission


I work for a company where we recently paid for a certain software service that helps us visualize and understand internal company data. The software service for some reason listed me as the person who referred the company to them and they now want to give me a sizable commission for the referral. The company that I work for would not be losing any money if I accept the referral money. Is this muttar to accept even though I didn’t actually refer the company to them?



Thank you for your question.

If the company is owned by non-Jews, then you are allowed to accept the present that they are giving, you. You are not fooling them into thinking that you referred them, this is their mistake and you can accept it. If however the company is a Jewish one, then you would have the obligation to do hashovas aveida and inform the company that as far as you know you didn’t make the referral. If they still want to give you the money you can then accept it.

As a side point, accepting such money may end up costing you in the future as they may want the money back later, if they realize that they indeed made a mistake.

Best wishes


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  1. This seems to me like a kickback-the software company is bribing the employee to continue to use the software. A large corporation would fire an employee if they knew they accepted the money as it is a severe conflict of interest.

    1. My understanding of the queston was that the person did not know why the company referred him. If indeed there is something going on between the company and this employee, then that is a differant story.

  2. There also might be an element of “Hashovas Aveida”, to see to it, that the person that actually made the referral; should get the commission that is usually paid in such cases.

    1. Correct, if the other employees are Jewish. Aside from this, my understanding of the question was that the company was using the software not specifically as a result of anyone specific making the referral. However your point is valid that if someone else indeed did make the referral he should give the credit to him.

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