The law that governs the conduct of Kingdom citizens is not always the same as the law of earthly kingdoms. The Kingdom standard is higher and rarely, if ever, lower. On the issue of wage and hour law, this is certainly true.
The Lord told Moses, “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. (Leviticus 19:13).
In other words, you don’t make your employees wait to be paid. In fact, it appears the Lord equates delay in payment with oppression and robbery.
Here’s the problem. Let’s say, like many employers, you pay your employees as infrequently as allowed by your government, which can be as infrequently as monthly. Once your employee completes his day’s work, he has earned his pay. By you holding on to his money, interest free for a month, you are not only gaining a benefit for yourself, you are also depriving your employee of what the Bible says is lawfully his.
You may be thinking, “I can’t write a paycheck everyday. That’s not feasible.” I agree. With the legal requirements of withholding and for timely depositing payroll taxes it would be an administrative nightmare. Here’s what you can do.
With salaried employees, you pay them weekly in advance of their work. That way their wages do not remain with you overnight; they are receiving their wages before they earned them. You may be thinking, “What if they quit before working the entire week? Then I will have to try to get the money back from them.” True, but by paying the employee periodically in arrears, you are forcing the employee to bear the risk that you won’t pay them. Either way there is a risk to one party or the other, but it’s a risk the Bible places on the employer, who is in the better financial position to bear it.
With hourly employees, because you don’t know in advance how many hours they will work, you probably don’t have a choice but to pay them in arrears. However, you can and should pay them as often as is possible and practicable, which is usually weekly.
Over the years, I’ve paid my salary employees in advance and my hourly employees weekly, and I’ve always felt it blessed them. This is as it should be for employees employed in a business run by one operating under the delegated authority of King Jesus because the law of the Kingdom should be a source of blessing for those who nest in the branches of the kingdom of God. GS