(photo credit: INIMAGE)
The Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court this week awarded Ehab Nofel nearly NIS 100,000 in compensation and legal fees ruling that he had been dismissed from his job at Albar Car Fleet Ltd. because of his Arab origin.
According to the Economy Ministry Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), Nofel worked as a driver at the company’s airport branch and was “valued by his superiors.”
However, after more than six months on the job, he was called to a hearing before dismissal, with the company claiming that it was reducing its workforce. Nofel protested and asserted that he had been fired only because he was Arab.
Nofel was awarded NIS 80,000 in compensation and an additional NIS 16,000 in legal fees, by virtue of the Employment Equal Opportunities Law.
Judge Dori Spivak determined in his ruling that given that the plaintiff was a valued employee, the company needed to prove that the reason for his dismissal was, in fact a reduction in its workforce, but it failed to do so.
In its ruling, the court relied on the position of the EEOC, which demonstrated the severity and extent of racial discrimination, as well as the great difficulty in proving it.
The EEOC also said the clear legal test led to the rejection of the claims by Albar, which attempted to camouflage the real reason for Nofel’s dismissal.
“This is an extremely important verdict, in both theory and practice.
Even though the grave phenomenon of discrimination against the Arab population exists in the labor market, it does not feature sufficiently in the verdicts of the labor courts,” EEOC National Commissioner Adv. Mariam Kabaha said in a statement.
“This shows the great importance of a verdict carrying a clear message to employees who are discriminated against – that the doors of the labor courts are open to every one of them,” she added.