Bava Metzia 112 - Delaying Payments for Contractual Work (Finds)

If an employer delays payment for contractual work, where a craftsman agreed to complete a specific task for a fixed sum, does he transgress the prohibition not to hold wages overnight?

This depends on how one views the improvement to the utensil that the craftsman makes. If the craftsman acquires the improvements, he, in effect, sells the owner that portion when he returns the finished product, and the money that the owner owes is not considered wages but a loan.

The prevailing view, however, is that the craftsman does not acquire the improvements and that the payments owed to him are thus wages. Hence, the prohibition against delaying payments applies to contractual work.

Art: Peasants at the Table, El Almuerzo by Diego Rodrigues De Silva y Velasquez

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