Compensation for sexual harassment can consist of compensation without proof of damage stipulated in the Law for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment, 1998, and compensation for other damages that can be proven to have been caused to the victim (contrary to popular opinion, men are also sexually harassed by women, and not just the other way around) .
Before we talk about what compensation for sexual harassment you can get, you need to first understand what sexual harassment is. After that, we will examine the compensation that can be received according to the provisions of the law, and we will see if there is a difference between one-time sexual harassment versus continuous sexual harassment.
In the end, we will examine examples from the case law and see what compensation for sexual abuse or harassment is actually awarded by the courts.
What is sexual harassment according to the law?
Law for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment,1998 defines sexual harassment as follows:
(a)Sexual harassmentis any of these acts:
(1) Extortion by threats, as defined in section 428 of the Penal Code, when the act that the person is required to do is of a sexual nature;
(2) indecent acts as defined in sections 348 and 349 of the Penal Code;
(3) repeated offers of a sexual nature, addressed to the person who has shown the harasser that he is not interested in said offers;
(4) repeated references directed at a person, focusing on his sexuality, when that person has shown the harasser that he is not interested in said references;
(5) contemptuous or humiliating treatment directed at a person in relation to his gender or sexuality, including his sexual orientation;
5a) Publication of a photograph, film or recording of a person, which focuses on his sexuality, in circumstances where the publication may humiliate or humiliate the person, and his consent to the publication was not given, however in a criminal or civil trial according to this paragraph it will be a good defense for the advertiser if one of the following is true:
(a) The publication is made in good faith, taking into account the circumstances of the publication, its content, form, scope and purpose;
(b) the publication is made for a lawful purpose;
(c) There is a public interest in the publication that justifies it under the circumstances of the matter, provided that it is not false, or it is an expression of opinion or criticism of a public official in connection with his position, and the publication did not exceed the reasonable scope for achieving its purpose;
In this paragraph, "photograph, film or recording" – including editing or combining any of them, provided that under the circumstances the person can be identified;
6) Proposals or references as mentioned in paragraphs (3) or (4), addressed to any of the subscribers in the sub-paragraphs below, under the circumstances detailed in these sub-paragraphs, even if the harassed person has not shown the harasser that he is not interested in the said proposals or references:
a) To a minor or a helpless person – while taking advantage of relationships of dependence, dependence, education or care, and if the minor has not yet turned 15 years old – also without taking advantage of such relationships, provided that the harasser is not a minor;
b) to the patient, in the framework of mental, health, medical or para-medical treatment – taking advantage of the patient's dependence on the therapist;In this subparagraph, "mental treatment" – as defined in section 347a of the Penal Code;
(c) to an employee within the framework of employment relations, and to a person in service within the framework of service – taking advantage of abuse in employment relations or in service;
d) For a student in the 12th, 13th or 14th grade, who is not a minor, while taking advantage of the extracurricular activities;
e) To a pupil or a student, who studies in an institution that provides theoretical, religious or professional education for graduates (in this law – an institution for education for graduates), while taking advantage of exchange rates in studies;
g) To a person – while taking advantage of relationships of dependence or dependence, within the framework of guidance or counseling of a religious priest or of someone who pretends to be a religious priest or of a person who is known or who presents himself as having special spiritual virtues;
h) to a person, on the part of the public servant in the performance of his duties or in relation to him and while abusing his authority – taking advantage of the person's relationship of dependence or dependence on the public servant;In this subparagraph, "public employee" – as defined in Section 34KD of the Penal Law;
9) For a person with a disability who is employed in a protected enterprise – taking advantage of relationships of dependence or dependence.
(b) Harassment is an injury of any kind that originates from sexual harassment, or from a complaint or lawsuit filed for sexual harassment.
As you can see without difficulty you can receive compensation for sexual abuse or harassment in a very wide variety of situations. The purpose of the broad definition is to eradicate the phenomenon of sexual harassment as much as possible.
Section 4 of the law even establishes an explicit prohibition on committing sexual harassment or harassment, and it states as follows:
A person will not sexually harass another person and will not abuse him.
Now that it is clear what sexual harassment is, you can move on to the next step and examine what compensation for sexual harassment can be claimed.
Compensation for sexual harassment – without proof of damage
One of the most prominent advantages of a law to prevent sexual abuse or harassment is the possibility to claim compensation for sexual harassment without proof of damage . That is, the victim does not have to indicate and prove exact damages in order to receive financial compensation from the harasser.
In this regard, Article 6 of the law states as follows:
A.Sexual harassment and harassment are civil wrongs, and the provisions of the Tort Ordinance [new version], will apply to them subject to the provisions of this law.
B.The court may award compensation for sexual harassment or harassment that does not exceed NIS 120,000, without proof of damage;This amount will be updated on January 1 of each year (in this section – the update day), according to the rate of increase of the new index compared to the basic index and a notice of the updated amount will be published in the records;Regarding this subsection –
"Index" – the consumer price index published by the Central Bureau of Statistics;
"The new index" – the most recently published index before the update day;
"The basic index" – August 2013 index.
As you can see, the law stipulates compensation for sexual harassment up to NIS 120,000. At the same time, you need to carefully read all the provisions of the section in order to find out that the compensation is tied to the index, so as of today compensation for sexual harassment is a little more than NIS 132 thousand (without proof of damage).
Compensation for sexual harassment that led to provable damages
The fact that an injured party can file a lawsuit and demand compensation for sexual abuse or harassment without proof of damage does not prevent them from incorporating within the same lawsuit a demand for compensation for damages they can prove.
For example: if the victim suffered mental damages that can be proven through an expert opinion (usually a psychiatrist or psychologist) it will be possible to demand an additional amount of money for those damages.
If mental damages were indeed caused as a result of sexual abuse or harassment, the amount of the claim is expected to be much higher in relation to the amount stated in the law for the prevention of sexual harassment.
Compensation for ongoing sexual harassment
There is a difference between one-time sexual harassment and continuous sexual harassment in terms of the amount of compensation. The law specifies a compensation amount for one act of sexual harassment. That is, a one-time sexual harassment is enough in order to be able to demand compensation for sexual harassment in the amount of up to 132 thousand NIS.
If the harassment continues, the required amount of compensation is the number of times sexual harassment occurred times the maximum amount of compensation (currently a little over NIS 132,000).
As you can easily see, the amount of compensation claimed may reach very significant amounts.
Compensation for sexual harassment – court rulings
A perusal of the legal databases will reveal a great variety of judgments in which the victim of sexual abuse or harassment received financial compensation in a very significant amount.
SA 48596-02-12 Pelonit v. Almuni (verdict dated September 19, 2019) – a shuttle driver suffered repeated sexual harassment from her employer. The court awarded her a total compensation of over NIS 600,000 .
Criminal Code 2597-01-15 Pelonit v. Almuni (judgment dated January 27, 2019) – an employee who worked at a pizzeria and suffered sexual harassment from the business owner. The court awarded her a total compensation of 180,000 NIS .
Case 9834-05-16 Dr. Doron Zamir v. Elmouni (judgment dated August 22, 2018) – a medical secretary who suffered sexual harassment from the doctor who ran the department where she worked. The regional court awarded her financial compensation in the amount of NIS 250,000 for sexual harassment, and the national court, as part of an appeal procedure, determined that the amount was indeed appropriate and just.
Sexual harassment is a phenomenon that the legislator is trying to eradicate by expanding the actions that will be seen as sexual harassment, for which a very significant financial compensation can be demanded.
Compensation for sexual harassment can be demanded by virtue of a law to prevent sexual harassment and in these cases there is no need to prove damage at all. As of today, the amount of compensation is about NIS 132,000. If there are several cases of sexual harassment, the amount of the required compensation will be equal to the number of harassments multiplied by the amount of compensation stipulated by law.
You can also demand compensation for sexual harassment for damages that can be proven. In such a case, the victim must attach appropriate evidence to prove the damages caused to them as a result of sexual harassment (for example, an expert's opinion for the purpose of proving mental damages).
A review of the court rulings will reveal that the courts do not take it easy on sexual harassment and tend to award significant amounts of compensation.