Pressuring an employer to pay one’s salary or a renter to pay rent

Pressuring an employer to pay one’s salary or a renter to pay rent:
Some Poskim[1] rule that the above prohibition against pressuring one who owes you money at a time that he does not have the ability to pay only applies by a person who borrowed money. However if one is owed money for other reasons that are not under the circumstances of a loan then he may pressure him to pay him even if the debtor currently does not have the means to pay. [The pressure will force the debtor to either borrow money to pay what he owes, or get a job.[2]] This allowance would include any of the following cases:

  • One worked as an employee and his employer owes him a salary.
  • Someone stole money from him and he needs to pay him back.
  • One is owed money for rent of a property or item.

Nevertheless, even in the above cases of debt it is proper not to pressure the person to pay if one knows he does not have the ability to do so.[3] Likewise, if the debt became the status of a loan, then it is forbidden from the letter of the law to pressure him, as stated above.[4]

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[1] Kesef Kedoshim 97/2 “A debt that is due to rent and the like, and not due to a loan is not under the above prohibition” See Admur Halva 14 that regarding entering the home to take  a Mashkon, that by a debt that is not due to a loan it is permitted to do so. See Sefer Chevel Nachalaso 9/49 for a discussion on this matter, and that Rav Chaim Kanievsky is of the opinion that one does transgress the Biblical prohibition even by a debtor of a salary or rent.

[2] See Admur Halvah 5; Michaber 97/15

[3] Kesef Kedoshim ibid

[4] See Admur Halva 14

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