Former Worker Sues Teva Over Missing Perks

Ex-personal assistant to Israel Makov claims drugmaker reneged on bonuses and stock options.

Tali Oren Belzer, formerly a personal assistant to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' CEO at the time, Israel Makov, is suing Teva for NIS 2 million, claiming the company never gave her stock options and bonuses as promised.

Oren Belzer claims that in her employment contract from 2002, on top of her gross salary of NIS 40,000 a month she was to get all the perks of top Teva management, including a bonus equivalent to two months' salary and stock options.

She was dedicated to her job and had excellent relations with Makov, Oren Belzer says, and was involved in "significant steps" at the company. Her responsibilities included analyzing financial statements, managing relations with suppliers, evaluating opportunities and offers, and helping to write speeches. She also attended management meetings, Oren Belzer says.

After returning from maternity leave in December 2003, she found her employment conditions had worsened, she said. The CEO decided to retain, as an additional assistant, the person who filled in for her during her maternity leave, who assumed some of her responsibilities.

At about the same time, she claims, her vision became impaired, which led to the discovery of a malignant tumor. She was hospitalized.

Following that, Teva VP Haim Binyamini reportedly summoned Oren Belzer's husband to a meeting at which Binyamini asked him to tell Oren Belzer that the CEO of the company couldn't work with an assistant with a head injury, due to the sensitivity of the job. Teva decided to move her to another position while preserving her employment terms, she says.

From 2006 to 2008, however, she received no bonus at all, says Oren Belzer, nor did she receive stock options although other top managers did. In November 2007 she was informed that the new CEO, Shlomo Yanai, had decided to abolish the "knowhow management" staff and that unless other work could be found for her by March 2008 she would be fired.

Other work was not found for her, and that month, she says, another tumor was discovered in her brain. Since then she's been undergoing chemotherapy and her condition is considered grave, Oren Belzer claims.

Teva rejects the allegations. "Throughout the years of her work at Teva the employee received all she was due under her employment contract, and beyond," the company stated.