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Israeli employers must justify female wage inequality

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Jackie Gregory
WVoN co-editor

Female workers in Israel are now in a stronger position to sue against wage inequality.

In a landmark ruling by the High Court of Justice, the onus of proof has been switched from the woman to the employer.

Previously an employee would have to show that the difference in pay was down to gender and for no other reason, reported the Israeli paper Haaretz.

The new ruling means that the employer has to justify any discrepancy, and the complainant only has to show there is one.

The judges also recognised that women were sometimes in a weaker position to bargain for higher pay and therefore any claims by employers that women agreed to a lower wage before commencing work will not be enough to justify extensive pay gaps.

Shop worker Orit Goren brought the test case after discovering a male colleague was on more money because he asked for a higher salary at his job interview.

Women, on average, earn 83 per cent of their male counterparts according to the Israel Project despite more females gaining jobs.

In 2009, the workforce grew by 46,700 women compared to 20,500 men. Of all the workers on minimum wage, 65 per cent are women with Arab workers generally earning less than Israeli colleagues.

Gender discrimination is currently a sensitive subject in Israel following a series of attacks by ultra orthodox Jews who are angry at what they argue is the increasing secularisation of society.

In one incident an eight-year-old school girl was spat at and called names as she walked to school according to a report by UPI.com and WVoN.

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