Many employment contracts stipulate that a worker who quits his/her job or is dismissed must pay a fine to his employer. This phenomenon is especially common in the communications industry including cell phone companies, Internet service providers, Isracard, Visa CAL, as well as security companies and the high-tech sector. Workers decide to resign from their job for many reasons, among which are an increase in work hours and the inability to reach goals set by their employer. Workers reported that due to the pressure to provide fast service, they were forced to provide unsatisfactory service against their will. When workers turned to Kav LaOved and complained about the matter, it was recommended they ask the company, in writing, to be relieved from the fine. Indeed in some cases the companies did so. In others, the company continued to charge a fine.
One of the main excuses given by companies to justify the fine is that the training the worker received serves him/her in future positions outside the company. However training is focused mainly on the software the company uses, and provides very little knowledge of marketing and other technical tools. Workers have no use for this training outside the company. According to the regulations of the Employment of Employee by Manpower Contractors Law (2008), only manpower companies are forbidden to fine for such training.
Although fining is illegal, it has become the norm over time. Workers report that today it’s hard to find a workplace with a contract that does not contain a provision of a fine in case of leaving the workplace. Court decisions on the matter range from claiming the worker signed the contract and therefore has to pay the fine, to determining that if he worked for a short period, he can only be fined for the time he didn’t work. The worker will only be compensated once the fine has been paid and the total salary earned was below the minimum wage.
Kav LaOved, in partnership with the Forum of Organization for Workers’ Rights Enforcement, demands that the regulations regarding fines by manpower companies be extended to all companies in the market and that it be forbidden to use fines in order to require a minimum working period for employees who receive less than minimum wage. Unfortunately, employers continue to use this strategy to chain low-salary workers to their companies.