Labor Court Rules Employer Can Bar Unvaccinated Workers

A health-care professional prepares a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Sheba Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

The Tel Aviv District Labor Court has ruled that an employer is entitled to prevent an employee in the teaching profession who has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus and who refuses to undergo a test for the disease from attending their place of work.

The decision came in a ruling dismissing the claim by an assistant teacher at a school for children with special needs in the Kochav Yair-Tsur Yigal local authority against the authority for its decision to require teachers to be vaccinated or to undergo tests for coronavirus as a condition for coming to work.

The Labor Court found that it could not be determined at this stage that the right of the assistant teacher to dignity and privacy outweighed the right to life of the pupils, parents, and staff at a school and the right and duty of the local authority to protect them.

“Although we have no explicit regulation in legislation or a collective agreement concerning the barring of a worker from their place of work without a negative coronavirus test, in the absence of vaccination, there is no room to determine at this stage of the proceeding that the chances of the petitioner’s claim are high, when we look at the cause of action held by the petitioner,” the court ruled.

The court called for legislation on the matter in order to create clarity and uniformity.