Equality trumps contract in women's equal pay court case

In the decision, the court awarded two women NIS 30,000 in compensation against the Ashdod Port for underpaying them due to their gender as well as NIS 12,000 in court costs.

Gavel [Illustrative] (photo credit: INIMAGE)
Gavel [Illustrative]
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
A contract ceiling pinning women to a lower pay-scale cannot be enforced in light of the greater constitutional principle of equal pay for women, the Beersheba Labor Court has ruled.
In the decision, the court awarded two women NIS 30,000 each in compensation against Ashdod Port for underpaying them based on their gender, as well as NIS 12,000 in court costs.
Ashdod Port had claimed that the women, Eti Alashvili and Efrat Cohen, could not claim equal pay as they had voluntarily applied to a public offering for the positions that regulated the salaries for the positions at a lower rate.
Ashdod Port claimed that the women had chosen to contract away their rights to pay equal to what men received for similar posts.
The court responded that any contractual conditions that violated the principle of equal pay were inherently invalid and would be vetoed by the courts.
In another decision announced by the court’s spokesman on Sunday, the National Labor Court fined an employee NIS 110,000 for reducing a woman’s hours in the time surrounding the events of her pregnancy.
The employer claimed that it could reduce the woman’s hours because it had initiated proceedings leading toward that goal two months before she notified them that she was pregnant.
But the court held that the employer had a duty to reassess the entire situation once it had learned of the woman’s pregnancy, and its failure to perform a new review left it no defense to a claim of discrimination against a pregnant employee.
The ruling was handed down last Wednesday, but was only announced by the court spokesman’s office on Sunday.