So you are considering to terminate the employment of your employee or to make a substantial change in the scope of his or her employment ? If you’re doing business in Israel, you better make sure that you consult with your labor law attorney and secure that your company follows the stringent requirements of pre-termination hearing.
Several actions items to bear in mind;
Eligibility: In Israel, every employee is entitled to have a pre-termination hearing. This includes full time employees, part time employees, employees in the private sector and in the public sectors. The scope of the protections offered to employees in Israel is substantially broader than offered in US style “Loudermill Hearing”.
Written Notice; Prior to the hearing - the employer must provide to the employee a written notice in which the employer should specify in clear details the alleged wrongdoings of the employee and cause for the hearing.
Right to Represented by Counsel:The notice should advise that the employee may bring to the hearing a person to represent him including the right to be represented by a legal counsel.
Adequate Time: The notice should provide the employee adequate time to prepare for the hearing (which is typically a few days notice).
Due Process:The hearing should confirm to the basic notions of fairness and due process. This means that the employee should have the right to be heard and to raise his or her arguments.
Good Faith: The hearing should be conducted in good faith and without any disposition. The Israeli courts refers to to employers duty to conduct the hearing in “Good faith and open soul’ (“תום לב ונפש חפצה”).
Protocol: The employer should conduct a detailed protocol of the hearing. Oftentimes, the hearing is audio recorded.
Hear All Arguments Prior to Decision; As a part of the above mentioned duty to conduct a fair hearing, the employer should not make any conclusion until the hearing is completed.
Written Informed Decision: At the conclusion of the hearing the employer must consider all the arguments raised and make a written detailed report of its decision. The formal written decision should be provided to the employee.
Sanctions for Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with the pre-termination hearing requirements, can be quite costly. In some cases, the Israeli Labor Court awarded to employee twelve monthly salaries, due to the employer’s failure to confirm to duty to provide a fair pre-termination hearing.
Tip of the Day;
The Israeli labor law is substantially different from the laws in the USA and in China. Oftentimes, labor disputes can be very emotional to the parties involved. It will be in your company’s benefit to secure that the hearing is conducted by a professional attorney experienced in resolving labor disputes.The most important issue is to secure that you consult with your counsel, as soon as possible and prior to the hearing.
* International attorney Amit Ben-Yehoshua is the founder of the the Amit & Co.
Amit & Co. is an law firm specializing in international business law and dispute resolution. Attorney Amit Ben-Yehoshua is licensed to practice law in Israel & California, and completed his Master of Law Degree in Chinese Law. Amit is a licensed mediator and arbitrator and is an acting member of the National Disciplinary Tribunal of the Israeli Bar. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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