Legal Updates

An employee resigning due to sexual harassment at the workplace is deemed dismissed and entitled to severance pay

February 24, 2019
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The legal update was published in Afik News 278 13.03.2019

בגץ 9239/17 DIAMAANO MARIA LUISA נ' בית הדין הארצי לעבודה בירושלים, בית המשפט העליון בשבתו כבית משפט גבוה לצדק, 24.02.2019, כב' השופטים ניל הנדל, יעל וילנר, עופר גרוסקופף

An employee was harassed at the workplace and informed the employer. The employer did not act to stop the harassment and the employee decided to resign.

The Supreme Court held that although the employee resigned she is entitled to severance pay under law.  It should be examined whether the sexual harassment arose in circumstances under which labor relations do not require the employee to continue the employment. Thus, there is a need to meet two conditions: the employee must notify the employer about the harassment and move the employer to change and correct the deterioration of terms, unless it is clear that the employer is unable to do so, and to show a direct connection between the resignation and deterioration in the terms of employment.  Here, all the conditions were met and the result was that the resignation was deemed a dismissal entitling severance pay in a manner reflecting the severity of sexual harassment in the workplace.