Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/89
Paragraph 1- Anyone who is biblically required to swear would swear and avoid payment. The following are those who swear and collect: a hired worker, a victim of robbery, a victim of assault, a storekeeper monitoring his ledger and one whose counterparty is suspect with respect to swearing.
Paragraph 2- What is the process with respect to a hired worker? If a hired worker does work for a homeowner and demands payment and the homeowner says he already paid all or a portion of his wages, the worker would swear while holding a holy item as if it were a biblical oath, even if his wages were just a perutah and the homeowner says he gave it. The worker would even swear and collect in a case where he is making a claim against a minor. If the worker was a minor or slave or suspect with respect to swearing, the homeowner would swear and be exempt. The hired worker can swear and collect from the homeowner’s inheritors if he made the claim within the proper time. The worker’s inheritors, however, cannot swear and collect.
Paragraph 3- When is this true? Where there are witnesses that the homeowner hired the worker and that the worker did the work. If there were no witnesses, however, because the homeowner can say I did not hire you he is believed to say I hired you and gave you your wages and the homeowner would take a heses oath. If the homeowner partially confessed, he would swear a biblical oath. There are those that say even if the homeowner denied the whole amount but there was a solo witness, he would swear a biblical oath. Similarly, if the worker made the claim after the proper time, the party attempting to take money has the burden of proof, even if he was hired with witnesses. If the worker cannot bring witnesses, the homeowner would take a heses oath. What is the proper time? The time for a day laborer is the entire night following employment. The time for a night laborer is the entire day following the employment. If the worker brings proof that he had made a claim the entire time, he would swear and collect the entire time he made the claim. How so? If the worker worked the entire Monday until the evening, the proper time is the entire Tuesday evening and on Tuesday day he cannot swear and collect. If the worker brings witnesses that he made a claim the entire Tuesday evening, he can swear and collect the entire Tuesday day. From Wednesday evening and on, however, the party trying to take away money has the burden of proof. Similarly, if the worker brings witnesses that he had a claim on the homeowner until Thursday day, he can swear and collect the entire Thursday day.
Paragraph 4- If the homeowner said the salary was two and the worker says the salary was three, the party taking away money has the burden of proof. If the worker does not bring proof, the homeowner would swear while holding a holy item even if he already gave two or says “here it is.” When is this true? Where the homeowner hired the worker with witnesses and they don’t know how much the salary was and the claim was made in its proper time. If, however, the homeowner hired the worker without witnesses or the claim was made after the proper time, the homeowner would take a heses oath.
Paragraph 5- If one gives his clothing to the craftsman and the craftsman says you agreed to pay two and the owner says he only agreed to pay one and the clothing is in the craftsman’s possession in a situation where the craftsman is able to say he purchased the item, the craftsman would swear while holding a holy item and collect. The craftsman can claim his wages up to the value of the clothing. If the craftsman does not have the clothing in his possession or he cannot say he purchased the clothing, the party taking away money has the burden of proof. If the craftsman does not bring proof, the homeowner would swear while holding a holy item.
Paragraph 6- When a hired worker comes to swear we are not strict with him nor we do we roll in any other oaths at all. For all those that swear we are not lenient with the exception of a hired worker where we are lenient and we encourage him first and we tell him do not afflict yourself- just swear and collect.