Employment relations between Israeli employers and Palestinian workers in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley are subject to Israeli law, according to the latest ruling from the Labor Court.
The wider significance of the ruling: Israeli employers must pay Palestinian employees for vacation, holidays, sick leave, transportation expenses, and contribute to their retirement funds.
The ruling was served during an appeal of a regional court ruling, which had affirmed the labor rights of a Palestinian worker employed by an Israeli settlement.
The ruling explains that the employee, a resident of Tamun in the Jenin district, was employed by an Israeli. He worked as a farmer in the Ro'i settlement of the Jordan Valley.
After the relations between the two ended, the employee sued the employer demanding payments related to his period of employment and its termination.
The regional court accepted the employee's suit and ruled in his favor. However, both sides appealed the decision.
The employer claimed that the worker was not eligible for compensation because he is not an Israeli citizen and because the work was conducted in an area in which Israeli law does not apply.
The employee appealed the decision because he disagreed with how the court determined his period of employment, its contents, and the reasons for the termination.
The Labor Court rejected the employer's appeal using a 2007 precedent. The previous precedent resolved that in a contract between an Israeli employer and a Palestinian employee the territorial relations are not the deciding factor – there must be a wider examination into the related circumstances.
The ruling determined that the law applies retroactively and thus includes the labor contract between the Palestinian worker and his employer. The court rejected the employer's claim that the retroactive ruling would cause grave damages to Israeli employers in the West Bank and to the Palestinians employed by them.
The employee's appeal was also rejected.
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