Work Hour Restrictions Have Limited Application in the Hi-Tech Industry
In Tamir v. Publicom Israel Ltd. the Tel Aviv District Labor Court ruled that a hi-tech worker was not entitled to overtime payment.
The plaintiff in the case sued his former employer claiming that he was entitled to overtime compensation under the Israeli Work and Rest Hours Act.
In dismissing the lawsuit Honorable Judge Fogel noted that the hi-tech industry has developed non-conventional patterns of employment, limiting the applicability of the Work and Rest Hours Act. The court found that the hi-tech industry has unique employment terms including flexibility in the working hours, high salaries based on global work (i.e with no differentiation between regular working hours and overtime), independence in completing tasks, providing services at the clients’ facilities.
The court ruled that even though the plaintiff was a simple programmer, the nature of his work (providing services at clients’ facilities) showed that he was employed in a “trust position” and was therefore exempt from the limitations in the Work and Rest Hours Act and was not entitled to overtime compensation.
It should be noted that although the court referred to the hi-tech sector at large, it cautioned that any future case would be evaluated according to its specific employment characteristics and the Tamir outcome might not apply to the whole hi-tech industry.
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