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An employer who dismisses a pregnant employee must show that the dismissal was not related to her pregnancy

August 17, 2021
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A law firm employed an employee in his firm for 9 months. The employee discreetly told the office manager that she is pregnant and was dismissed a few days later.

The Court ordered the employer to compensate for the dismissal of the employee due to her pregnancy. Israeli law prohibits the dismissal of pregnant women due to their pregnancy, which constitutes prohibited discrimination, and the law shifts the burden to the employer to show that a pregnant employee was not dismissed due to her pregnancy. Moreover, non-pregnancy related dismissal of a pregnant woman is also prohibited unless preapproved by the Ministry of Labor and Welfare. In case of discrimination, compensation may be awarded under law without proof of damage in the amount of up to ILS 50,000 and in case of dismissal due to pregnancy, the law allows compensation of 150% of the salary that would have been paid during the period beginning on the day of dismissal or the day the employer knew or should have known of the reason for limiting the dismissal, whichever is later, and ending at the end of the period of limitation of dismissal, or the date on which the dismissal permit was granted or the employee was returned to work. Here the employer did not show that the dismissal was not due to the pregnancy and was thus ordered to pay compensation of about ILS 135,000 due to illegal dismissal.