Written by Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, member of the Badatz of Crown Heights
Paying less than the minimum wage to an employee raises a number of shaalos (halachic issues):
Ona’ah – one may not pay less than the market value for goods and services received.
Geneivas Da’as – deceiving the worker if he is unaware that he’s being paid less than the minimum wage.
Geneivah – downright stealing.
Some of these issues apply when dealing with non-Jews as well.
However, if one’s intention has been made clear in advance, and the worker is mevater and mochel (consents) to accept the amount being offered despite the fact that it is below minimum wage, then it’s not a problem from a strictly halachic perspective.
The legal ramifications are a different issue altogether, beyond the scope of this article.