Press Release November 20, 2014:
Kav LaOved calls for investigations of employers who admitted dismissing Arab workers due to their origins.
In response to this situation, Kav LaOved has submitted a request to the Ministry of the Economy Enforcement Commission to work quickly to prevent a new wave of dismissal of Arab workers in Israel.
The Nazareth branch of Kav LaOved has been providing assistance to Arab workers who reported being dismissed from their place of work during Operation Protective Edge. Now it seems a second wave of dismissals has begun. In the last few days we, again, hear employers and public figures calling for dismissal of Arab workers and justifying not hiring Arab workers based solely on their origin. It must be made clear: Dismissal of workers based solely on their origin is prohibited by law
Kav LaOved sent an appeal to the authorities responsible to enforce Labor Law in Israel demanding urgent intervention to protect the rights of Arab workers in the labor market for equality of opportunity and prohibition of discrimination.
In the past few days there have been calls to dismiss and deny employment to Arab workers based on their origin. Social media also pressured employers to fire Arab workers and hire Jewish workers instead. In response, Kav LaOved turned to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Regulation and Enforcement Administration of the Ministry of Economy with an urgent request to prevent a wave of dismissal of Arab workers in Israel.
Just a few months ago a wave of dismissals of Arab workers took place at the outset of Operation Protective Edge. Dozens of Arab workers were dismissed due to their origins and for expressing their opinion on social media. Kav LaOved received many requests for help from workers who were dismissed or summonsed to dismissal hearings. In the end, most cases concluded with Arab workers returning to their jobs due to the illegality of the dismissals.
In order to protect Arab workers from dismissal and reprisal by employers due to their origins, Kav LaOved calls upon the authorities to clarify to the general public that it is against the law to dismiss workers based on their origin. Kav LaOved also insists that the authorities urgently investigate employers who admitted in public and on social media that they dismissed Arab workers due to their origin.
Attorney Gadeer Nicola of Kav LaOved states: “The Equal Employment Opportunity Law explicitly prohibits discrimination of workers, particularly their dismissal due to their origins, their race, their religion, and other inappropriate considerations. The role of the agencies that are responsible for law enforcement is to urgently put the intention of the law and its most basic principles, which are the basis of labor law in Israel, into practice. Denying livelihood to Arab citizens due to ethnic origin, both by private and public institutions, is illegal, unacceptable, and is a sign of social decline.”
Arab workers who have been dismissed or summonsed to a dismissal hearing and suspect that this is due solely their origins, are welcome to contact Kav LaOved for help and consultation at:
Gadeer Nicola, Attorney at Law
Or the following offices:
Association for Civil Rights in Israel
Tal Hassin, Attorney at Law
Ministry of the Economy Enforcement Commission
Ministry of Justice
Hotline for Complaints about Incitement and Racism
Citizens that have been asked to dismiss Arab workers are welcome to call the Ministry of Justice Hotline. The ministry’s representatives will consider whether the incident was incitement or racism and will be referred to the appropriate enforcement agencies.
Translation: Sharon Kerpel