Bill would extend comptroller protection to workplace whistleblowers

Legislation advances banning convicts from being ministers for 14 years.

July 23, 2014 07:15
1 minute read.
Arrest [illustrative].

Handcuffs arrest police crime illustrative 390. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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Any act infringing on lawful management will be considered corruption, according to a bill that aims to protect whistleblowers in the workplace.

The Knesset State Control Committee authorized the bill, which Labor MK Miki Rosenthal proposed, for its first reading on Tuesday. The legislation gives anyone who reports that his workplace is breaking the law the status of someone reporting an act of corruption, and thereby grants him protection against being fired.

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The State Comptroller’s Ombudsman Hillel Shamgar said that in the past, workers had reported problems and the comptroller could not protect them.

“People are afraid to complain and reveal corruption or lack of integrity, because they may be fired. Now, if the comptroller is convinced employers are harassing workers who reveal corruption, he can give an order to protect them,” Shamgar explained.

Rosenthal said he hoped his bill would encourage those who weren’t sure whether or not to complain to do so, and would let them know that the authorities would defend them.

Hadas Agmon of the Justice Ministry said the ministry supported the bill, but that workers could also turn to labor courts if they felt they had been unjustly fired.

Also Tuesday, the Knesset held the first reading of a bill that would forbid an MK or minister convicted of corruption who served over six months in prison to be appointed as a minister for 14 years from the time of the conviction.

The legislation, proposed by MK Moshe Mizrahi (Labor), passed its first reading with eight MKs in favor and none opposed. It will go to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee for discussion.

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