Israel’s National Labor Court Protects Right to Organize
The National Labor Court dismissed an appeal by the Café Noir restaurant in Tel Aviv. The National Labor Court affirmed the judgment of the Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court, which held the restaurant must pay NIS 300,000 compensation for infringing on its employees’ right to organize.
The Court determined a year ago that the restaurant terminated and worsened the employment conditions of employees who were active in organizing and were union members, delivered threatening messages to employees through mid-level managers, and encouraged the establishment of an internal union that constituted a “company union.” This was all designed to deter other restaurant employees from joining the employees’ union.
In fact, the National Labor Court’s judgment illustrates that the right to organize is a constitutional and fundamental right that must be protected, by limiting employer intervention.
In light of the Café Noir judgment, employers must exercise caution when expressing a position on organization, even if they believe it would benefit their employees. Even an employer who acts in good faith, out of care, and with the desire to offer an alternative to organizing may find itself facing legal proceedings that end with it paying financial compensation to employees.
The organization of employees involves fast-paced processes and events that are oftentimes not common in workplaces. It also requires constant legal consultation and, at times, even preparation in advance.