The prohibition against discrimination between people stems from the right to equality. The law explicitly stipulates that every service provider must act in equal manner towards any person, regardless of “race, religion or religious group, nationality, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation, worldview, party affiliation, age, personal status, parenthood or wearing the security and rescue forces’ uniforms or their insignia “(Section 3 to the Prohibition of Discrimination in Products and Services Act).
In many cases it is very difficult to prove discrimination. The law made an attempt to deal with this problem, and established a mechanism of “reversal of burden.” Simply put, the intention behind that mechanism is to oblige the person who is argued to have committed the discrimination to prove that no discrimination was applied, given that the person claiming to have been discriminated demonstrated to the court that he belongs to a group that is usually discriminated against and that the defendant knew it. For example, a person arrives at a leisure club and is asked to present his ID. In consequence he is denied entrance to the club. That person then files a lawsuit and claims that he was discriminated against on the basis of his Arab origin. Now, while in any other ordinary legal claim (namely one which does not deal with a claim for discrimination) the plaintiff must prove that he suffered damage (i.e., that he was discriminated against), in the case of discrimination it is the opposite: the defendant, the owner of the club, is the one who must show that he did not discriminate against the plaintiff and therefor did not offend him in any way. This is a significant benefit in favor of the plaintiff, specifically designed to ease the condition of those suing on grounds of discrimination, so as to induce them not to give up their claim in order to eradicate this evil phenomenon.
The law does specify cases in which it is clear that discrimination between people is prohibited (for example, discrimination between blacks and whites, Muslims and Jews, men and women), however, there are additional cases in which discrimination can be argued, although they do not fall under the cases stipulated in section 3 of to the Act. Such cases, for example, might involve discrimination on the basis of gender identity (e.g. discrimination of transgenders), discrimination of HIV carriers and discrimination, for example, on the basis of weight (the preference of “thin” attendants to clubs).
A person filing a claim under the Prohibition of Discrimination Act may demand compensation even without proof of damage, in the amount of up to NIS 70,000 (the Act determined compensation up to NIS 50,000 with linkage to the CPI since 2000).
Our firm specializes in claims on grounds of discrimination – discrimination in providing services, in attendance to clubs, in receiving medical service and more. We do so out of a genuine belief in human equality, and we will continue to do so until such abdominal and humiliating behavior no longer exists.