Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu board plane to US at Ben-Gurion Airport.
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Guy Eliyahu has joined the company of Meni Naftali as victors over Sara Netanyahu in labor court, winning on Tuesday an NIS 97,500 judgment against the state for her abuse of him as a worker in the Prime Minister’s Residence.
The judgment by the Jerusalem District Labor Court breaks down into NIS 65,000 for emotional abuse, NIS 7,500 reimbursement for legal costs and NIS 25,000 for violating laws protecting employees from working beyond certain hours.
Judge Dita Prugnin slammed Netanyahu’s conduct toward Eliyahu and other employees as “insufferable, humiliating and rising to the level of abusive.”
The Netanyahus family lawyer, Yossi Cohen, responded that “the real abusive conduct was of Judge Prugnin, who… again ignored…the testimony of Mrs. Netanyahu.”
Cohen vowed to appeal.
Lawyer Naomi Landau, who represented Eliyahu, stated: “Guy Eliyahu and Meni Naftali are heroes. They stood with courage against powerful evil forces who tried to destroy them…I have never encountered such an evil employer.”
Eliyahu also won a NIS 60,000 judgment against the Kelinor company, an additional defendant in the case, which was involved in Eliyahu’s employment for the state.
In September, Eliyahu’s lawsuit came under review, focusing on his allegations of being abused, underpaid and overworked.
Eliyahu claimed that Netanyahu asked him “to bring her food, and when I would return with the requested food she would accuse me of trying to make her fat.”
He testified in September that on one occasion, he was called back to the residence after he had already gone home. It was after midnight and he came back “just...to heat up a bowl of soup for Mrs. Netanyahu.” He also said that upon returning to the residence he was reprimanded by Netanyahu and told that he must come back to the residence no matter the hour if she wanted food.
Eliyahu also claimed that he was called back on another occasion because he had not wished Mrs. Netanyahu goodnight when he left work. This happened despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling him that he could leave at 12:30 a.m.
State attorney Kochavit Netzah Dolev, essentially representing Netanyahu (though technically the state is the defendant and not her personally) had pounced on this last point in her September cross-examination, getting Eliyahu to admit that she was not really demanding that he had to say the words “goodnight” to her, but that she wanted him to ask her if she needed anything and to ask her permission to leave.
Further, Dolev got Eliyahu to admit that his overtime work sheets were not accurate. Eliyahu, however, explained that he was instructed by supervisor Ezra Seidoff (also a target in the case) to fill out the sheets in a specific way, taking into account the whole work week, regardless of whether they were accurate for specific days.
Ultimately, the court was convinced by Eliyahu’s overall account, adding another loss to Netanyahu this week after the National Labor Court rejected her appeal of Naftali’s even larger NIS 177,000 judgment against her.