Gusk Katif -Neve Dekalim 58.
(photo credit: Yakov Ben-Avraham)
The National Labor Court upheld on Tuesday a lower court’s ruling that a Gush
Katif employer, who fired Palestinian workers because of 2005’s disengagement
from Gaza, does not owe them severance.
The decision came in response to
an appeal filed by 17 Gazans who lost their workplace as a result of the
The lower court had dismissed the claims out of hand, ruling
that the employers had never fired the workers and that the parties’ employment
arrangement had come to an end because of a government decision.
Yigal Plitman said in his ruling that for the Severance Pay Law to apply, the
suing party had to have been fired, and that in this case the employer never
fired the workers.
“On the contrary,” Plitman wrote, “both sides were
interested in continuing the relationship, and only a ‘state act’ brought the
contract to an end, against their will.”
Representing the minority
opinion, Judge Ronit Rosenfeld wrote that the situation was similar to the
closing down of a factory, and that the employees were entitled to compensation.
She wrote that the question of whether the employer wanted to end the contract
or not was irrelevant and the principle behind the Severance Pay Law, to enable
workers who lost their jobs to support themselves until they found new
employment, still applied.
National Labor Court President-emeritus
Stephen Adler sided with Plitman in holding that there had been no act of
termination and therefore no cause for compensation.
The appeal was
rejected two to one.