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March, 2020 - Israel


Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co Represents Israel Football Association in Labor Court Arbitration and Referee Pensions Case


Representation of the Israel Football Association – Preference for Arbitration over the Labor Court

Our firm represented the Israel Football Association (the “IFA“) at the Regional Labor Court in Jerusalem on the issue of the status of the IFA’s internal judicial bodies.

In a nutshell, a dispute arose between the football players and between their clubs relating to the players’ employment rights. The players argued that the rights were protective labor laws and therefore the Labor Court had jurisdiction over the dispute and not the IFA’s arbitration body. IFA was added to the matter as a required party, and we enumerated the benefits of the internal judicial body, and we also underlined its exclusive jurisdiction pursuant to the Sports Law, 5748-1988.

The Labor Court (panel headed by the Honorable President of the Regional Court in Jerusalem) affirmed all of the IFA’s arguments. The Court stated that both the arbitration clause and the legislator’s clear intention – established in the Sports Law – must be upheld. Accordingly, the Court referred the parties to the IFA’s internal judicial bodies also for matters relating to mandatory protective labor laws (since these are impacted by football’s unique employment character which is not similar to other employment sectors in the economy).

Representation of the Israel Football Association in Important Case on Referee Pensions

Our firm represented the Israel Football Association in a collective action submitted by the workers’ organization – The National Labor Federation, in connection with pension money, allegedly deducted unlawfully from the wages of the football referees. The claim was estimated at tens of millions of shekels.

The Regional Labor Court in Tel Aviv denied the action, accepting the Football Association argument that the base salaries of the referees were adjusted due to a change in their employment status in 2008, while no unlawful deductions were made.
This is an essential and principled ruling that removed a significant financial threat from the Football Association.

Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co’s Labor and Sports departments cooperated on handling this case.


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