It’s a Boy
By: Rabbi Yosef Y. Ettlinger
Its a Boy!
Mrs. Greenfield hired Doula Fried, to assist her in delivering her newborn. Early, Tuesday morning, Mrs. Greenfield sensed that the awaited time was imminently approaching. In general though, Mrs. Greenfield upheld a history of elongated ordeals.
In contact throughout the morning with Duola Fried; she was assured that history was repeating itself and time was on her side. The thought of hours of work simply tired her out. …when suddenly her room was filled with the delightful charm of promising life. Doula Fried missed the birth!
Is Mrs. Greenfield required to pay Duola Fried?
What is the Law?
Unless Duola Fried has a specific policy, Mrs. Greenfield is exempt from paying Fried (see detailed explanation).
Mrs. Greenfield hired Duola Fried to perform a service. Although Duolas often provide guidance to their clients far before rendering the actual service, Duolas generally charge only for aiding the delivery. In Mrs. Greenfield’s case, Duola Fried did not even begin providing her “chargeable” services nor did she begin traveling to the “work site”. Secondly, there is a calculated risk in the field, that the Duola may well miss the birth.
It’s a Boy implicates the following four laws.
- An employer who irresponsibly cancels the post after a laborer either turned down alternative work (and can no longer find replacement work) or else, began working or traveling to the job site (even if he/she did not turn down alternative employment) is required to compensate the laborer for the wages he/she expected to earn [Choshen Mishpat 333: 2; 334:1].
- An employee who prefers to earn reduced wages and remain idle, rather than work hard and earn more, can only claim that “reduced fair” from the employer [Choshen Mishpat 333: 2; 334:1].
- When new circumstances render the job unnecessary, an employer is absolved from compensating a laborer for services not received, if the laborer could have responsibly foreseen such occurrences [Choshen Mishpat 334: 1].
- An employer who must cancel the post due to unexpected circumstances need not pay for services not received (though must reimburse him/her for expenditures invested by the employee en route to the work site) [Nesivos Hamishpat 333:5].
Doula Fried did not invest expenditures, begin traveling, or begin rendering services. Most of all, Doula could have foreseen the eventuality of missing the birth. Mrs. Greenfield is absolved from paying her for her services unless there is a predetermined protocol for such eventualities.