Thursday, February 9, 2012

Daily Business Ethics Halacha #15

Taking a break from Rabbi Levine's book Case Studies in Jewish Ethics to examine a real case:

Question: A particular catering hall allows clients to bring in their own caterer and band.  After an event when the band and caterer are packing up the band leader sees the caterer unplugging an extension chord.  The chord is generic and has no noticable signs of identification.  It is near an outlet that was used both for music equipment and for a warming tray.  The band leader says the extension chord actually belongs to him.  The caterer insists that it is his.  There is no way to tell waht the chord was plugged into and both parties are not sure of how many chords they arrived with. 

Does the caterer keep the chord because he was the first to grab it?  Must he give it to the band leader?  Must they split the cost?

Would it make a difference if the dispute was between the caterer and the manager of the facility?