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How Can a Male Boss Have a Private Meeting With a Female Employee Without Concerns of Yichud?

Rabbi Yosef Jacobovits

Question: If a male boss has to have a meeting in his private office with a female employee, what can be done to prevent yichud problems? 

Answer: If the office has a large window through which the man or woman can be seen by passersby, there would be no problem of yichud

If this is not the case, we would have to get involved in the shailoh of a door that is closed but is unlocked. As we said from Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, if the female employee is a non-Jew, one can be lenient and rely on leaving the door unlocked. If the employee is a Jew, we would need to find another solution to the problem.

If there are other people around, and the situation in the office is such that when an employee wants to talk to the boss, they can simply knock on the door and walk in, this would eliminate the problem of yichud because they know that anyone can walk in at any time. Even if this is usually not the protocol, the boss can arrange for an employee to knock and walk-in at a random time during the meeting, which would also suffice to negate the yichud problem.   

Rav Moshe Feinstein writes that even if an employee wouldn’t walk in on their own, if it is accepted that whenever someone knocks on the door, the boss answers the door and it is not acceptable for him to ignore it, that would eliminate the problem of yichud because there always is the fear that someone can knock at any time. 

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