A senior Israel Railways official resigned last week over allegations that he had sexually harassed a female maintenance worker.
According to the allegations, the senior official and the woman - who provided services to the railroad through an outside service firm - had correspondence via text messages, which recently took on a sexual nature.
The woman alleged that she voiced her objection to being contacted by text message and asked the senior official to stop it. When he did not, she notified the railway office that handles harassment complaints, as well as the office of the railroad’s CEO, Boaz Tzafrir. She is also said to have attached photos of the man’s text messages. He was then summoned by Tzafrir to explain himself. As far as is known, the man claimed that the correspondence was by mutual consent.
The law states that if the alleged perpetrator of the harassment is in a position of authority over the alleged victim, the person in authority will be deemed guilty of harassment if the correspondence is of a sexual nature, regardless of whether or not there was consent.
In this instance, the alleged perpetrator of the harassment had no direct authority over the woman, because she was employed by an outside service firm and not employed by the railroad.
When the complaint was filed, Tzafrir barred the alleged harasser, who had only been in his current job for about a year, from having any contact with the woman.
Instead he chose to resign immediately.