Cargo manager sues El Al

A HOMOSEXUAL El Al cargo manager claims he was fired after requesting paternity leave for the birth of his child by a surrogate mother.

Ronen Rosenblatt Nir is suing the airline in a Brazilian court for more than NIS 1 million (US$269,000), alleging discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Nir says he began working for El Al in 2009 as a cargo manager, when the airline inaugurated its Tel Aviv (Israel)-São Paulo (Brazil) route.

The airline rejects the charges. “Mr. Nir was never an employee of El Al, but worked for the sales agent of the local cargo services in Brazil. El Al ceased operating its route to São Paulo on 10 November 2011, and the termination of Nir’s employment by the local sales agent has no connection in any way to any other issue,” the carrier states.

The petition has reached the Equal Labor Rights Commission, which is examining the suspicion of discrimination in parenting, paternity leave, and gender. “We cannot elaborate since we have not received the consent of the couple,” the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor comments.

El Al is no stranger to sexual discrimination cases. The National Labor Court and the High Court of Justice recently ordered the airline to recognise the rights for free tickets of the same-sex spouse of steward Daniel Danielovitz.

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