Israeli Court Orders Compensation for Woman Fired While Doing Army Reserve Duty

At issue was a disagreement over a weekend vacation and a few posts on Facebook

Israeli soldiers during an official ceremony in Jerusalem, March 7, 2018.
Olivier Fitoussi

A woman who was fired from her job while doing army reserve duty has been awarded 100,000 shekels ($28,800) by a labor court that essentially agreed she was allowed to travel abroad over a weekend.

The suit was brought by Hodaya Yakuty, who had worked for Bar Orian Architects and served as a reserve medical officer. In 2017 she was called up for two weeks of reserve duty. During a weekend break from the reserves, Yakuty flew abroad and was back at her base at the start of the week.

She was then contacted by her manager at work and told she had been fired. Yakuty sued the firm via the Defense Ministry’s employment committee.

Bar Orian said in the suit that Yakuty was fired after she lost the trust of her employers. As evidence they provided her Facebook postings showing her traveling abroad during a period she was supposed to be doing reserve duty. The firm alleged that she had faked her call-up notice with the help of someone in the army.

Yakuty said the manager told her the army does not call up women for such long stints of reserve duty.

A majority of members on the Defense Ministry committee agreed with Yakuty’s claim that she was fired in violation of the Demobilized Soldiers Law and awarded her the 100,000 shekels. “It is our duty to make clear that equality between women and men in military service doesn’t end when women reenter civilian life,” the chairman of the committee, attorney Eran Golan, wrote in the panel’s decision.

In response to Bar Orian’s appeal, a judge at the Tel Aviv District Labor Court, Hadass Yahalom, agreed with the committee’s ruling and confirmed the award.