I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.
I have been receiving services from this Law Firm for several years now and I want to say THANK YOU to the team, especially Joshua Pex. They are doing outstanding work. The services I have received for both our Israeli non profit association but also our social business have helped us solve many issues at hand and provided solutions in complicated situations. Personally, I am grateful for support in visa issues as a foreigner living now in Israel for many years.
Very knowledgeable and professional
Marce Ruth St. Rey
Party time in the heart, my beloved husband received his residence after so much time of battles and faith. Gratitude, God has blessed us with wonderful beings who have accompanied us, including a "precious angel" who touched our hearts, our excellent and fantastic lawyer: Maria Chernin Dekel, sweet and wonderful human being, who has guided us and stayed On our side. side in this intense legal transit whom we bless on every occasion. God bless you dear Maria, you have exceeded your professional duty by containing us and collaborating with us in hard times, very hard, for that we want to thank you publicly, you are unique!!!
We bless and thank the entire team at Decker Pex Tal Ofir Law Firm.
Oded Ger did an excellent job by reviewing a modeling contract I was offered. Explained the bad clauses in the contract, and their possible consequences. Thank you for your amazing job, your professionalism, your consultation and honesty. You showed me from your experience how it can be done differently. It was the best decision choosing you as my lawyer.
I highly recommend this firm, especially Oded Ger.
Dongdiet & Nellie
We are very happy with the services. Somehow they managed to translate the law lingo into language we actually understand 😉 and their outstanding YouTube videos helped us to have a better grasp of what process we had to go through. Their patience, clear explanation and experience are very valuable. It's also very nice to know that you will receive response promptly; it made us feel we can really trust their services. We recommend all those looking for immigration lawyers to get in touch.
Best lawyer house from Israel! I couldn’t dealt with my situation without their professionalism and effectiveness. Their dedication to every legal aspect and their drive it’s how a true lawyer house can be!
Working in European market and international now, I couldn’t dare to let myself wide my wings on countries unknown to me. Definitely they’ll be the lawyers representing me, my business at every international aspect and on personal development.
When you hear Decker,Pex,Ofir &Co, you hear 10+ class services, luxurious professionals, confidentiality and exclusive attention to your needs.
We were very pleased and content with the services of this law firm. They supported us 100% and solved our case successfully, we couldn't be happier.
Incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, accessible, and evident across the board that they truly care about the people they are helping. They are quick to respond, engaged, and obviously top-notch lawyers. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Thank you, Joshua and Itamar for your help with our Joint Life Application. You were a calming energy during a storm - always breathed a sigh of relief after speaking with you. It is so difficult to get straight answers from the Misrad Hapnim, but you guys are straight shooters. I appreciate your candor and evident integrity. Hope to work with you in the future, and will send everyone I know in need of legal aid your way. Thank you for your guidance and support.
We highly recommend Adv. Mike Decker and have know him for many years. He has helped our family with many battles over the years. We recently received our permanent residency after 23 years in Israel. We so much appreciate Mike’s representation of us.
If you need to solve any complicated legal issue in Israel, don't hesitate to contact them. Otherwise you will loose hours/days/weeks with things that they can solve in minutes. They helped me to obtain my expert working visa in Israel and even after that they responded further questions and gave me advices related to administrative issues in Israel which saved me a lot of time. Irena Rosenberg and Michael Decker worked on my case, they are very professional and helpful. They will not let you down, feel free to contact them.
competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended
A really excellent firm. They knew exactly how to handle my situation effectively and efficiently, and we got the result I needed without much fuss. Adi Berger was a wonderful advocate for me and I am deeply grateful for her help!
I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.
We were searching for a law firm that will be honest with us and really work hard for a satisfying result, it wasn't an easy task
We found them online; they were the only law firm from all of our searchings which were completely honest and NOT gave us just what we wanted to hear
Using them guaranteed honesty above all. A legal team that is friendly and cares for a superb result
They really care about helping their customers without any other interest
Nadia gave us service behind what we expected; she was professional which lead to fast and easy process with great result
We definitely recommend using them
Courteous, clear, efficient service.
We were very satisfied with the service of Nehama. She was very professional in all her dealings and kept us informed all the way.
We highly recommend this law firm. They proved to be reliable, efficient and pleasant to work with.
The team at Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co have been awesome to work with in helping our US company establish banking in Israel and in providing counsel for legal needs in Israel. I highly recommend!
I really recommend the law office's services. The service is very professional and efficient, the price is right. I am satisfied with the services I needed and happy to have known them.
Joshua Pex was both an amazing human being and an inspiring human rights attorney. I reported directly to him for various activities I performed as in intern. I was impressed with his incredibly solid character. He is trustworthy, fair, and goes above and beyond to advocate for the vulnerable. He is completely trustworthy and high caliber in his work. His partners and employees are very blessed to work with him. I am honored to know them.
The team of lawyers and assistants are incredibly professional. Aiming to give their clients the advice possible regarding the normative and the law of Israel. With well trained and professional secretary at the front desk to the lawyers team, I could say that I had one of the most professional services possible. I'm super glad of choosing Joshua Pex of Law office for immigration solution, lawyers to advise in my case, to me, it is remarkable.
Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.
I admire the Austrian citizenship team in Tel-Aviv branch! They deserve more then 5 stars!! They are very friendly and professional. I've got Austrian citizenship in 4 months for all family members which consists of 12 people! The entire team is very friendly and responsive. They are always answering questions and support during the process. I recommend to everyone. Was 100% satisfied.
Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.
Josh has been helping me on and off for a few years now. I have needed legal advice and assistance with immigration due to a complex situation of mine, and he has been extremely available and responsive, honest and clear about my route and how to proceed. Very much recommended!
We had a pleasure of working with Irena Rosenberg who assisted in getting our two U.S. born children registered in Israel and supported visa process for my wife in 2021. During the pandemic, my wife and I decided to move to Israel where I am originally from after living in the U.S. for over 20 years, but we had no idea how to go about securing visas before and after arriving in Israel. Irena is knowledgeable, reliable and competent lawyer who always had answers to all our questions which made us feel confident that everything would be fine with her assistance. We are now happily living in Israel and are so grateful to have Irena who is a genuinely nice person as our lawyer.
Michael and Ariellah Waizman
For Advocate Joshua Pex.
We were in a devastating situation when my wife received an order from the immigration office to leave Israel within 30 days, without any explanation, after we have been married and in the process for six and a half years. We heard of Advocate Pex through a friend of a friend. We contacted Mr. Pex and he was ready to help us when he heard of our situation.
The service is amazing! Always ready to assist without regard to the time it takes. The advice Mr. Pex gave us was great, such as what to do, he gave useful links, and advice about which officials to contact. The price for the service was great!
The process until we received the extension for another year for my wife was not long (3 months). Things started moving once Mr. Pex came into the picture.
We highly recommend Advocate Joshua Pex! We achieved our goal and the fear of deportation has been lifted!
We have been working with Decker, Pex Ofir & Co - Law Firm in Tel Aviv for many years very well. Because we appreciated their lawyers services, we recommended businesses and individuals again and again to go there as well.
Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.
Alexander P Gutterman
EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.
The best lawyer firm I’ve had dealt with. I would like to thank Anat Levi and Ariel Galili from the Jerusalem branch for all of their efforts and patience, we could not have been Able to reach to where we are now without them
The coronavirus pandemic poses new complex challenges that we have never faced before, which raises the question of whether vaccine mandates – or specifically, mandatory vaccination for employees – are legal according to Israeli law. What are employers allowed to do if an employee refuses to get vaccinated?
Our law offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv specialize in labor law. The firm provides employees and employers with comprehensive legal advice and assistance concerning employee rights, pension plans, layoff proceedings, personal and collective agreements, and more. Other articles published on our website regarding employee rights during the coronavirus pandemic address the issue of employment termination during a corona-related furlough and denial of severance pay. In the current article, lawyer Michael Decker explains the issue of mandatory vaccination for employees during these times.
In principle, the legislative has said nothing yet about the issue, and no legislation has been created to clearly regulate the matter. Nevertheless, initial guidelines are taking form to accommodate the situation. This raises loaded complex questions regarding employment relations, personal rights, and more. The existing law has been reinterpreted by the court and the Ministry of Justice in a large number of cases, with the new interpretation giving employers a significant basket of tools to encourage employees to get vaccinated, and to impose certain sanctions on those who refuse to do so. The current article reviews the does and don’ts when dealing with this issue in a situation where no clear legislation exists yet.
Mandatory Vaccination for Employees and Israeli Law
As early as 1989, the Supreme Court dealt with the issue of what to do about an employee who suffers from a disease that may endanger other people in their environment, but who refuses to undergo a medical examination. The then President of the Supreme Court, Meir Shamgar, ruled that, if the employee refuses to listen to the employer and undergo a medical examination, the employee shall not be forced to do so, but the employer is free to take any measures that they see fit. Although the requirement to undergo a medical examination is significantly different from the requirement to get vaccinated, it seems that the set of considerations and risks is principally similar. On the one hand, the employer seeks to protect their business, livelihood, environment, and, most importantly, employees and clients from a dangerous disease that can kill. On the other hand, the issue of vaccinations leads to a head-on collision between various constitutional rights, such as the rights to individual autonomy, honor, and freedom vs. the rights to life, public well-being and health, and livelihood.
Vaccine Mandates and the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty
The Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (for the English version before amendments, see Appendix here) allows every person to decide for themselves about their bodies, and no other person or institution has the right to force them to undergo a medical procedure against their will. Currently, there is no law that requires employees to get vaccinated. However, due to the morbidity state, Israel plans to enact laws that will enable providing benefits to those who get vaccinated and imposing sanctions on those who refuse to do so.
The Public Health Ordinance of 1940, which has remained with us since the times of the British Mandate, allows regional doctors to take quarantine measures that significantly violate civil and individual rights. However, there are Israeli Basic Laws that protect these rights.
The solution lies in finding the right balance. As more alternatives are found which enable less violation of rights, the courts will use these alternatives. For example, if a local municipality wishes to only allow vaccinated individuals to use public swimming pools, the court may require the municipality to check if another swimming pool exists that allows non-vaccinated individuals to enter. The court will probably also take into account the type of service that is denied, and allow municipalities to deny entry into non-essential entertainment and leisure complexes, but not allow them to deny entry into food or medicine shops.
Deputy Attorney General lawyer Raz Nizri stated in an opinion that was published last February that, according to the Patients’ Rights Law, 5756–1996, vaccination is a medical treatment and, as such, requires informed consent.
It may seem that the law forbids requiring an employee to share personal medical information such as whether or not they have been vaccinated, since this type of information is confidential. However, it has already been stipulated that, as long as the employer’s questions are relevant to the employee’s job, the employee is required to answer them due to being bound by duty of good faith. The question regarding an employee’s immunization is relevant for preventing infection in the workplace and maintaining a normal work environment, dividing workers into separate groups, taking mandatory isolation measures, and even preventing lawsuits against the employer in the event of infection.
The Supreme Court recently expressed its opinion on whether the government has the right to impose a closure, and whether this does not materially infringe on the freedom of movement. In its ruling in the petition by Yedidya Leventhal against the Prime Minister in April last year (HCJ case 2435/20), the Supreme Court ruled that the right to life has the upper hand (English translation): “In the horizontal balance between rights, this time, against the infringement of freedoms and basic rights such as freedom of movement, we place the right to life and the integrity of the body, an uncommon situation in our legal system. In this horizontal balance, the hand of the right to life prevails.”
Is There Still Anything to Do?
Based on the above ruling by the Supreme Court, employers may prohibit employees from arriving at work until the employee presents a health certificate, or prohibit an employee from arriving if this may endanger the health of other workers or clients. Employees can avoid this by, for example, undergoing a corona test every 48 hours, which is a bill being discussed today.
May an Employee Who Vehemently Refuses to Get Vaccinated Be Fired?
In the current legal situation, and in accordance with the Labour Inspection (Organisation) Law, 5714–1954, prohibiting an employee who refuses to get vaccinated from arriving at work cannot serve as a reason for layoff. The employer must inform the employee about the various options that they have, and the employee will make the right decision for themselves, such as whether to work from home, take unpaid vacation, or take a furlough. Dismissing a worker for unreasonable or unlawful reasons may lead to lawsuits and increased severance pay, and even to a court order requiring the employer to accept the employee back.
However, if the employee who refuses to get vaccinated also refuses to take vacation, the employer may begin dismissal proceedings. Another way to encourage employees to get vaccinated is by offering gift baskets or paid vacation days, which several big companies have already done.
May Unemployment Benefits Be Denied from a Person Who Refuses to Get Vaccinated and, Consequently, Is Refused Employment?
The current state of affairs makes it impossible to deny unemployment benefits from a person who refuses to get vaccinated, since the State has not yet set regulations to amend the limitations of the primary legislation, by order of the Attorney General. Therefore, refusing vaccination is not a valid reason for being denied eligibility for unemployment benefits. However, employers may take measures to cause unvaccinated workers to leave voluntarily, according to an opinion that was written for the Manufacturers Association of Israel (MAI).
These days, the question of teachers refusing to get vaccinated and the legal options available to the Ministries of Health and Education are once again coming up for discussion. At the moment, the issue is being discussed between the ministries, and the Ministry of Justice is advising on the matter, but no possible alternatives have been decided upon yet. Therefore, it is not yet possible to say whether or not a particular alternative is legally competent.
At the same time, the Ministry of Health is considering a bill that would require anyone who works with an audience and who is not vaccinated to undergo a corona test every 48 hours. The law is expected to go up for government approval very soon.
A hint of the Attorney General’s position may be found in a reply letter, signed by Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri, to a request by 600 teaching staff members who demanded not to require teachers to get vaccinated if they do not wish to do so.
He explained: [It has been clarified that local authorities are not allowed at this time to prevent teaching staff, students, and other education staff who have not been vaccinated from arriving at educational institutions, whether they are employed by the Ministry of Education or whether they work at a private or local institution. I have also clarified this to the Attorney General local municipalities representative who inquired about the issue. In this context, I again remind you that, due to the current legal situation, local municipalities are not allowed to create their own rules about when teaching staff will be allowed to arrive at educational institutions.]
However, it seems that it will be possible to implement most of the initiatives aimed at imposing sanctions on vaccine refusers if an appropriate law is enacted. In the current political situation, on the eve of elections, this is almost impossible, and may therefore be delayed until a government is formed. Various publications in the media suggest that the current legal position is that unvaccinated individuals may be denied entry into leisure places, such as restaurants and hotels, entertainment, culture, and sports, as opposed to places that offer essential services, such as food and medicine shops.
Our law firm has professional lawyers who are proficient in labor law and in the rights of employees and employers in general, as well as the legal state of affairs regarding work relations following the coronavirus crisis.
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