Knesset approves bill on workers' right to sit

The Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee approved for its second and third reading a private member's bill that ensures the basic right of workers to sit during their work in sales or public service - unless the employer can prove that it is impossible to do it from a chair. The bill was initiated by MKs Shelly Yacimovich, Zevulun Orlev, Marina Solodkin and Gideon Sa'ar. It was launched after a supermarket chain threatened to fire all personnel who sat down next to their cash registers. When passed by the plenum, the employer must supply all employees with a "suitable chair or stool for comfortable sitting." If he refuses, the labor court will have the authority to set fines not connected with physical harm of up to NIS 20,000 and compensation for physical harm of up to NIS 200,000. The lawsuit can be filed by the worker, union or an organization that protects employee rights if chosen by the employee to represent him. The law will come into effect 60 days after its publication in Reshumot.