Published On: Thu, Jun 22nd, 2017

El Al Airlines Banned From Asking Women to Switch Seats, Court Ruled

El Al forced to change its policy to switch women seats if ultra-Orthodox Jewish men object to sitting next to them, a court has ruled.

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Israeli airlines banned from asking women to switch seats to accommodate ultra-Orthodox men who won’t sit next to them, court in Jerusalem ruled in response to a lawsuit filed by a Holocaust survivor Renee Rabinowitz.

The 83-years-old retired lawyer suit the Israeli national airline El Al for discrimination after being asked by flight attendant to move to a different seat on a plane when an ultra-Orthodox Jew objected to sitting next to a woman.

Rabinowitz who was settling in business-class on El Al flight 028 from Newark to Tel Aviv in 2015 said she felt “humiliated”.

Civil rights group Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), which was representing Ms Rabinowitz in the case, said in a post on Facebook: “Huge victory in IRAC’s long fought battle against gender segregation in the public sphere- court tells El Al airline women do not need to move seats for men.”

The flight attendant “treated me as if I was stupid,” she told The New York Times.

Rabinowitz’s lawyer originally asked for NIS 50,000 (about $14,000) but The judge awarded Rabinowitz NIS 6,500 (about $1,800), in compensation.

, that first reported the story,  at the time the lawsuit was filed. The airline had offered Rabinowitz a $200 discount on her next El Al flight and told her she was under no obligation to make the switch.

Judge Cohen-Lekah also ordered El Al to inform staff that such requests are illegal within 45 days, and to provide training on how to deal with such situations within six months.

 

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