Firing a pregnant woman in Israel
Question - Can a pregnant woman be dismissed in Israel?
An employer hired an employee and had her sign a 5-month employment contract.
After 5 months, it has become clear that the employee is pregnant. Is the employer entitled to dismiss her?
Can we claim that the length of the contract determines the length of employment, even for a pregnant woman?ALSO READ: What are the employer's duties in Israel?
Article 9 of the law on women's work prohibits the dismissal of pregnant employees, unless a specific agreement has been obtained from the Ministry of Labor.
This prohibition only applies to a woman who works for the same employer or at the same place for a period of at least six months (she must have 6 months less seniority for this rule to apply).
So an employee with just 5 months' seniority could be dismissed because she hasn't been with the company for 6 months.
In our case, we're talking about a 5-month fixed-term contract. So even if the duration of the contract exceeded 6 months, the prohibition on dismissal only applies to fixed-term contracts of one year or more.
However, if the employer is considering extending or renewing the contract of an employee already on the job (extending a fixed-term contract). Then the employer may not dismiss her if she has 6 months or more seniority (unless the employer has obtained permission from the Ministry of Labor).
Employers: As this is a very sensitive subject, we recommend that you seek the advice of a lawyer specializing in employment law.
Don't take this area lightly.
Our advice: if, at the interview, your new employee mentions that she is already pregnant, you can avoid any complications by giving her a 5-month fixed-term contract.
Please note that these details are not legally binding and do not exclude legal advice.