Jewish Employee-Employer Relations

How Jewish law creates a balanced relationship between employers and employees

Print this page Print this page

Workers' Responsibilities

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. 

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Rabbi Jill Jacobs

Rabbi Jill Jacobs is the Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America. She previously served as the Rabbi-in-Residence for the Jewish Funds for Justice.