The second important issue is to understand the responsibilities of employers to their employees. Many Christians like to quote the prophet Malachi’s condemnation of employers who defraud their labourers. There are several ways that an employee can be defrauded.
So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty (Mal 3:5).Malachi puts those who defraud their labourers in the same basket as liars and adulterers. These latter are crimes specified in the Ten Commandments, so defrauding wage earners falls into the same category. Defrauding a labourer is theft, because it deprives of something of something that legally belongs to him.
Malachi does not actually specify what these employees were doing. However, the prophets did not decide for themselves what is right or wrong. The prophetic role was to challenge those who break God’s laws, so we can expect their crimes to be clearly defined in the Old Testament laws. This is the case.
Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him. ( Lev 19:13).When the work is complete a bad employer might refuse to pay wages that he has agreed to pay. This a breach of contract is a form of theft.
Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight( Lev 19:13).Late payment of wages can cause real adversity in some situations.
You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates. (Deut 24:14) The word “oppress” (âshaq) means “press upon, oppress, violate, defraud, get deceitfully, extort”. An employer who pays someone who is poor and needy less than someone who is not has defrauded their employee. Paying a low rate of pay is not a breach of this law. To show that his law has been broken, prophet would have to show that the employer was paying less to the poor and needy than would be paid to other people.
There are several ways that an employee can be defrauded.