Working on Shabbat

I recently started a new job at a child care center and it turns out I need to come in briefly once in a while on Saturdays. Is there any way I’d be allowed to go in? I’m careful to keep Shabbos but I really don’t want to lose this job.

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

I’m sorry for your dilemma. There are two potential issues. The first is doing forbidden labor on Shabbat and the second is earning money on Shabbat. In terms of labor, it would depend if you could do your Saturday work without doing any forbidden actions – such as traveling to work, cooking, writing, using a computer etc. If you can simply walk to work and oversee the children without doing anything further, it would be fine.

In terms of receiving pay, if you receive a monthly or yearly salary for all your work together – as opposed to hourly wages, then it would also be acceptable. You are not being paid for Shabbat work directly. It is rather being “swallowed” within your longer-term salary, which is acceptable. (See this related response for more detail.)

If the above does not work for you, you should offer to switch hours with a coworker, even for example to work double the time on Sunday in place of Saturday.

(Source: Shulchan Aruch O.C. 306:5.)

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