Paying on Time1, Part 17
Bal tolin applies even if the worker is a child. Accordingly, one must be
as careful to pay a child on time as he is with regards to paying adult
workers. Moreover, there is an aspect of the obligation of payment of a
child that makes it more difficult to avoid than payment of an adult: This
is that a child is unable to firgive a legal obligation once it has been
entered into. Therefore, if a person asks some children to do some work for
him, he must pay them before nightfall unless he asks them at the beginning
of the work if they donít mind being paid at a later date. However, once he
has entered into the Ďagreementí he is unable to simply phone them and ask
them to forgive the obligation, as he could with an adult, because children
cannot do this. If he fails to pay them before nightfall he transgresses bal
Adults may have a tendency to be less careful with paying children small
amounts of money for minor jobs. In truth, the laws of bal tolin apply in
exactly the same way as with payment of adults.
1. Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other
People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.
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