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Free Trial Period
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Q. In order to see if there is a good fit between my workplace and prospective workers, I offer to have them work a few days without pay. If the fit is good, I hire them. One worker who didn’t stay on is demanding pay, which I never offered. Do I have to pay him? […]
Without Permission
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Q. A certain store overcharged me a substantial amount. I don’t have enough documentation to prove it. Can I right the wrong by finding a way to take merchandise with the value of their debt? A. The first route in redressing wrongs should always be to turn directly to the responsible party and make a […]
Conflict of Interest
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Q. Our synagogue needs to hire a contractor. I am both a member of the building committee that will choose a contractor and also a partner in one of the companies under consideration. Is it ethical for me to promote my own company in committee discussions? A. In your dual role as synagogue representative and […]
Hiring Miring
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Q. Previously, you wrote that it is improper to advertise a position if you have already decided on the person to fill the job and have no intention whatsoever of hiring other applicants. What about government requirements that require advertising a job? A. We previously discussed a Talmudic passage which forbids gratuitous shopping, when it […]
Friendly Recommendation
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Q. I’m a real estate agent. When I close a deal I often refer customers to a lawyer who is a friend of mine, even though many people already have a lawyer they work with. Is this acceptable conduct? A. If someone needs a lawyer there is certainly nothing wrong with providing them with valuable […]
Believe It or Not?
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Q. I received an email from an old acquaintance. He described in detail how he is being exploited by a certain individual and asked for my help in pressuring the individual to do him justice. Can I help my acquaintance out in this way? A. . It is certainly a wonderful deed to help a […]
Double Dipping?
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Q. My medical insurance covers a certain procedure. But I am also separately entitled to a discount from the provider. Can I collect the insurance and also the rebate? A. The topic of medical insurance is occupying a lot of people right now. Insurance in general is a wonderful financial product that enables us to […]
Tricking Web Users
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Q. I want to check out the feasibility of a project I am contemplating. Can I make a trial website to measure interest? When a person presses the “order” button he would get a message saying that no orders can be processed but I would know there is demand. A. Knowing the conditions in the […]
Stolen Merchandise
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Q. I suspect a store in my neighborhood sells stolen merchandise, especially since the prices are so low. Is it permissible to buy from them? A. Fencing stolen goods is a serious crime in Jewish law. The book of Proverbs (29:24) states: Whoever shares with the thief hates his own soul; [even if] he is […]
Unequal Partnership
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Q. When my friend and I began our partnership I anticipated our contributions would be about equal. But now I see that despite all the efforts of my partner, it is my abilities that are really responsible for our business success. Am I entitled to a larger share of the profits? A. Partnerships are a […]