National Commissioner for Equal Employment Opportunities at the Ministry of Economy and Industry to End 8-Year Term

Survey in honor of milestone examines experience of discrimination in the Arab sector​​

Advocate Tziona Koenig-Yair: “Ever since the EEOC was established, we have progressed greatly and blazed the trail for advancing equal opportunities in the labor market. However, the leadership and leaders still face significant challenges, beginning with intensifying enforcement, particularly for disadvantaged populations that are limited in their ability to realize their basic rights in the labor market. Employers in Israel must internalize that beyond the requirements of the Law, discrimination contradicts every behavioral and cultural code and harms firstly the employers themselves, together with the entire Israeli society.”

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) was established by Adv. Tziona Koenig-Yair eight years ago, with the goal of spearheading a process of integrating equality and eradicating discrimination in the labor market. Within this framework, the EEOC deals with 16 grounds of discrimination, including race, sexual orientation, religion, age, military reserve duty, pregnancy, fertility treatments, ethnic origin, and political viewpoint. Koenig-Yair is set to end her period of service at the end of December 2015, and will summarize her years of activity at the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality at the Knesset.

During the EEOC’s eight years of activity, it has held five annual conferences, dealt with 5,267 complaints, managed or is currently managing 68 legal proceedings, written and published 27 opinions, gave over 700 lectures, conducted thirteen employer and employee surveys, created and executed two strategic programs and is soon to publish – for the first time ever – a booklet of recommended practices for workforce diversity, based on the experiences of employers in Israel.

Below is a summary of 8 years of the EEOC’s activities:

Over the past eight years, the EEOC has managed several highly important legal cases regarding discrimination and equal employment opportunity that have resulted in precedential cases that promoted positive change in the labor market, including :

  • Abdul-Karim Kadi et al. v. Israel Railways – a claim of dismissal due to race;
  • Michel Malka v. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. – discrimination being accepted for work due to his ethnic origin;
  • Plonit vs. Almonit – discrimination due to ethnic origin during acceptance for work at a large publicly-traded company;
  • The High Court of Justice 1758/11 Orit Goren and others v. Home Center – a claim regarding unequal pay