Best Buy fined NIS 90,300 for employing Jews on Shabbat

Electronic appliance store's general manager Aharon Meidan given a personal fine of NIS 36,000.

best buy 88 (photo credit: )
best buy 88
(photo credit: )
The Tel Aviv District Labor Court on Wednesday fined electronic appliance store Best Buy NIS 90,300, the maximum fine according to the law, for employing seven Jewish workers on Shabbat. Best Buy general manager Aharon Meidan was given a personal fine of NIS 36,000. It was the second time the store has been fined for the same offense. According to the Work and Rest Hours Law, no Israeli employee may work on the day of rest that his or her religion dictates, unless he or she works in a specially designated list of occupations or workplaces. For Jews, that day of rest is Shabbat; for non-Jews, it is either Friday, Saturday or Sunday. In most cases, those who are fined pay the fine. However, some refuse, in which case they are served a criminal indictment and the matter goes to court. This is what happened in the case of Best Buy, said attorney Tamar Pinkas of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry's legal department. In the event of a conviction, the court may impose a fine of up to NIS 12,900 per worker, per day. In the case of Best Buy, judge Ilan Itah handed down the maximum fine. Itah wrote that one of the reasons he did so was that this was the second time the company had been found to employ Jews on Shabbat. Best Buy apparently felt it was economically worth the risk, given the probability of being caught versus the fine the company might have to pay, Itah continued. He rejected the company's argument that the workers had been given an alternative day off, stating that the idea of the law was that the family should be able to spend the day of rest together. Pinkas told The Jerusalem Post that over the past six months, there have been 54 indictments served against companies that employed workers on their day of rest and refused to pay the initial fine. The companies included Tzomet Sefarim, Office Depot and Wendyman Nurseries.