Our office specializes in labor law. Among our clients are employers, employees, public employees, employees of foreign countries, industrial companies, financial companies, Internet companies, and business entities. The firm represents plaintiffs and defendants in the field of labor law. Our office has extensive experience in legal proceedings on labor law issues, both in cases in Israel and in cases of claims for labor matters abroad. For example, in a judgment given in August 2011, in a case in which our firm represented an employee of the US Embassy against the US government, a judgment was given in the amount of approximately NIS 850,000 against the US government.
Labor laws are a part of civil law, and the purpose is to regulate the relationship between the employee and the employer. Labor relations are characterized by an imbalance in the bargaining power between the employee and the employer.
The Laobr Court
Labor laws have special and supreme importance as they are designed to protect the employee from being exploited by the employer. In Israel, this uniqueness of labor law is expressed in the existence of a separate legal system that exists alongside the regular court system, which is that of the labor courts. Cases dealing with the relationship between an employee and an employer are not tried in the regular courts but in a system of labor courts, consisting of national and regional labor courts.
Despite the uniqueness of the labor court, as an employee-friendly court, due to the complexity of the procedures, it is recommended to use the services of a labor lawyer. Since labor law is a broad field in itself that has developed over the years, the parties should hire the services of labor law lawyers.
The Structure of the Israeli Labor Courts
The Regional Labor Court – in Israel, there are five regional labor courts: the Beer Sheva Regional Labor Court; The Jerusalem Regional Labor Court; Haifa Regional Labor Court; Nazareth Regional Labor Court; and the Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court. The Regional Labor Courts are the first court regarding claims originating from employee-employer relations. In the regional labor court, the session consists of a judge and two other people: one representative from the workers’ sector and the other a representative from the employers’ sector.
Of course, these two representatives have no interest and connection in the case discussed before them. The National Labor Court – The seat of the National Labor Court is in Jerusalem. This is the first court in civil matters concerning the whole economy (collective disputes) and an appeal court for judgments in the Regional Labor Court. The National Labor Courts’ panel consists of three judges, an employee, and employer representatives.
Guy Ophir - Labor Law Consulting
Employee and employer relations in Israel are regulated by several legal sources, including laws, orders, regulations, collective agreements, and more. It is sad to say that due to the multitude of these legal sources, unless the employee consults with a labor law attorney, it is doubtful that he knows his full rights and, even more so, that he will ensure their enforcement. A major part of a labor lawyer’s practice is in areas such as withholding wages, withholding severance pay, non-payment of minimum wage, non-payment of overtime, violation of confidentiality agreements, and non-payment of social rights.
The information published above constitutes a brief and non-exhaustive review of the law and does not constitute a legal opinion. For advice and guidance from a labor lawyer, contact us.