Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I used to work at a retail phone store and my boss would charge a $15 activation fee for a new line when there was no such fee. I have realized that he must have signed a contract with them pledging to follow their rules.
Was it OK for him to charge these fees? Is my money I earned through working with him halal and valid?
Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for your question. I pray you’re well insha’Allah.
In general, there is nothing wrong with charging a fee for services in one’s store, as long as the customer is made aware of what they are paying for and how much.
In regards franchise businesses, one would need to know the specific details of the franchise contract to decide if it was permissible for your previous employer to charge additional fees for connection or not. It may be possible that he was in his right to charge a fee.
Whether it was permitted for your ex-employer to charge an additional fee for connection or not, it does not affect your wages. The main body of the company’s work and revenue was permissible and therefore any earnings from it are permitted to receive.[Fathul Mu’in]
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.