Already in 1954, the Women’s Work Act was enacted in Israel, which was designed to meet the unique needs of women in the workplace and to protect both their health and their rights in the workplace during periods of parenthood, pregnancy and childbirth. Over the years, the law has been amended many times, and regulations and other laws have been added, such as the Equal Employment Opportunities Act, the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act, and the Equal Remuneration for Man and Woman Act. These laws are intended to protect women (and other groups) from common infringements upon their rights in the workplace: dismissal, discrimination in hiring, discrimination in wages, and more.
Based on these laws women are further entitled to additional rights such as the right to a nursing hour, justified resignation under the law of dismissal for the purpose of caring for a child, the right to be absent due to fertility treatments and other rights.
Being aware of those rights and insisting on their enforcement is important in order to minimize the inherent difficulties facing women who aspire to integrate into the employment market in general, and to succeed in combining parenthood and work in particular. Even today, unfortunately, many women, including educated women in senior positions, are still a weakened group in the work world, and receive discriminatory treatment.
Labor courts often adopt a strict approach with employers who violate women’s rights, and therefore it is recommended that women who have been fired or otherwise offended at their workplace consult with an attorney and consider filing a lawsuit in appropriate cases.