Teacher obtains 150,000 NIS in indemnities for labor rights
Rights violation: arbitrary dismissal of a female teacher after 24 years of service, and an attempt to deprive her of some of her labor rights.
"I will work on my future & my family’s future. I will reclaim a piece of land that I own, cultivate it and make use of it", these are the words of (H.H.) who worked for 24 years as a kindergarten teacher at a school affiliated with an international organization in Al-Qbebah. In June 2020, the school notified her that they were terminating her services, without providing any legal justification, and informed her that her last day at work would be 30/08/2020. The school’s administration offered her to sign a clearance that did not take into account all her labor rights according to the laws and regulations applied at the school, which include the Palestinian Labor Law, Work Discipline Systems, and the employees’ work contracts.
After receiving the notice, (H.H.) sought legal assistance from the Legal Aid and Human Rights Unit at the Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center. The Legal Aid Unit’s team reviewed and analyzed the internal regulations of the school and the teacher’s work contracts, and the rights they stipulate, and compared them with the proposed clearance. The Unit noticed that the clearance deprives the teacher from many of her legal rights and compensations, and informed her that according to the Palestinian Labor Law, the internal regulation of the school, and work contracts, her legal indemnities should include the following:
Compensation for minimum wage difference, as (H.H.) was paid less than the minimum wage guaranteed by the internal regulation of the establishment.
Unpaid wages during the Covid-19 pandemic, since the employer deducted half of the teacher’s wage in April & May 2020.
Compensation for maternity leave difference, as (H.H.) did not obtain the full legal period for her previous maternity leaves according to regulations applied at the establishment.
Severance pay indemnities equivalent to one month’s wages for each year of service (based on the gross salary).
Compensation for arbitrary dismissal, because the school ended the work agreement without any legal grounds.
After more than a year of negotiations between the teacher and the school’s administration, and after reviewing all the legal briefs prepared by DWRC, the administration decided to provide all the legal rights for the teacher estimated at 150,000 NIS. (H.H.) says that she lacked knowledge about her rights at work, and that a number of her colleagues did sign the clearance without having knowledge of all their rights, which made them loose a significant part of the compensations that they were entitled to.