EGYPTIAN AMBASSADOR Hazem Khairat and his wife, Manal, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara..
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
The National Labor Court on Monday rejected Sara Netanyahu’s appeal of a May 31 judgment against her for the abuse of a former employee when he worked at the prime minister’s official residence.
The judgment by the Jerusalem District Labor Court ordered her to pay NIS 97,500 in damages to Guy Eliyahu, who claimed he had been verbally abused, underpaid and overworked.
Netanyahu’s lawyer, Yossi Cohen, said he would file a final appeal with the Supreme Court.
Another ex-employee of the prime minister’s residence, Meni Naftali, successfully sued Netanyahu in the labor court and also beat back her appeal. The Justice Ministry has a separate appeal against both decisions pending before the National Labor Court.
The May judgment for Eliyahu broke down into NIS 65,000 for emotional abuse, NIS 7,500 for legal costs and NIS 25,000 for violating laws protecting employees from working beyond certain hours.
District Labor Court Judge Dita Prugnin slammed Netanyahu’s conduct toward Eliyahu and other employees as “insufferable, humiliating and rising to the level of abusive.” Cohen responded at the time that “the real abusive conduct was of Judge Prugnin, who... again ignored... the testimony of Mrs. Netanyahu.”
Attorney Naomi Landau, who represented Eliyahu, stated in May: “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.”
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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 2015 that on one occasion, he had been called back to the residence after he went 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, she reprimanded him and told him he must come back to the residence no matter what the hour if she wanted food.
Eliyahu also claimed he had been called back on another occasion because he did not say goodnight when he left. This happened despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling him that he could leave at 12:30 a.m.
State attorney Kochavit Netzah Dolev, representing Sara Netanyahu (though technically the state is the defendant), pounced on this last point in her September 2015 cross-examination, getting Eliyahu to admit that she had not really demanded he say the word “goodnight,” but wanted him to ask her if she needed anything before he left.
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