Firm Ordered to Pay Out to Fired Pregnant Worker

Cleaning and maintenance services company ISS-Ashmoret was ordered to compensate an employee it fired during her seventh month of pregnancy, in violation of the law and without the Industry and Trade Ministry's approval.

The company will pay a precedent-setting NIS 300,000 plus interest and inflation linkage.

The Jerusalem Regional Labor Court placed responsibility straight on the shoulders of company's branch and regional managers for violating the equal opportunities law. Judge Sarah Shdeour ruled that "the defendants fired the worker illegally, knowing she was pregnant".

The judge accepted all the claims of the plaintiff, Inalam Ababitan, who was represented by the Israel Women's Network.

Shdeour rewarded the worker severance pay, as well as compensation for her lost income and her distress. "The court found the worker's version credible and convincing. In contrast, the defendant's testimony is inaccurate and is full of holes," noted the judge.

Shdeour also found fault with the fact that the company did not hire back the worker even after an Industry and Trade official refused to approve the illegal layoff.

The judge rejected ISS-Ashmoret managers' claims that the worker was only hired as a temp and quoted the law stating that even the temporary layoff of a temp working at least six months for a company was considered a firing.

She also rejected their claims that they did not know she was pregnant, noting that she was in a late stage of pregnancy.