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Can a Non-Jewish Worker Who is Paid to Complete a Job Work for a Jew on Shabbos?

Rav Yosef Kushner

Question: We have discussed the status of a sechir yom and an arus in regards to the halachos of non-Jews working for Jews on Shabbos. What other types of workers are there? 

Answer: The most common employment structure is probably that of “kablan”, in which a worker is paid for a completed job. A few examples of a kablan would be a delivery service that is hired to deliver a package, a dry cleaner that is hired to clean a shirt, or a contractor hired to do a construction job. In all these cases, the worker is paid for the completed job, not for the hours of work. It makes no difference how many hours it takes him to do the job, he will still always be paid the amount specified for the completed product.

A kablan is more lenient than a sechir yom in the sense that he is allowed to work on Shabbos; however, he is more stringent than an arus in the sense that even those who hold that one may ask an arus to work on Shabbos agree that one may not ask a kablan to work on Shabbos. Similarly, one cannot give a kablan a deadline that would require him to work on Shabbos. For example, one would not be permitted to give his car to a mechanic late Friday afternoon and tell him that he needs it back on Sunday morning if he knows that he would have to work on Shabbos to get the job done in time. For the same reason, one would not be permitted to give a package to a delivery service on Friday afternoon and tell them to overnight it so that it arrives at its destination on Shabbos morning.  

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