Jewish Employee-Employer Relations
How Jewish law creates a balanced relationship between employers and employees
While employees have obligations to workers, workers also have responsibilities to their employers. The obligations for prayer and for reciting Birkat HaMazon [the blessing after eating a meal] are lessened for workers, in order to minimize the time spent away from work. Workers are expected to be diligent in their tasks and not to waste time during the day.
The laws governing the relationship between employers and employees aim to create a balanced working situation, in which each party receives what she or he needs. As the employers necessarily enter the partnership with greater power, Jewish law spends more time defining the obligations of the employer, rather than the employee. The Jewish historical narrative is too explicit about the pain and dangers of slavery for Jewish law to recreate such a situation.
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