During recent years of Leonid's work at Sysmop, his health and mental condition deteriorated, and he asked to retire from his work. Due to the good relationship between the parties, Sysmop supported Leonid and helped him continue his work despite his health difficulties.
In 2017, Leonid finally decided that he would like to terminate his work, since he could no longer fulfill his role properly. After the company found a suitable replacement for Leonid and he conducted role introduction to her, it was mutually agreed between the parties that Leonid would end his employment after a one-month notice period.
During the early notice period, Leonid sent Sysmop a letter by registered mail, in which he claimed that he wished to continue working at Sysmop as a software engineer.
Sysmop executives were surprised by this announcement which was in stark contrast to that agreed between the parties. Leonid's announcement seemed contrived and a result of some kind of consulting.
Sysmop held a hearing for Leonid, after which the company presented him with a letter of dismissal. The severance pay accrued in Leonid’s pension fund was released to him in full.
Approximately one month after Leonid left Sysmop, he filed a lawsuit against the company, in the amount of NIS 980,091.
In his lawsuit, Leonid claimed that he was entitled to severance pay differences, advance notice fees, payment for overtime, compensation for erroneous pay slips, etc.
The most significant components in Leonid's claim were overtime (approximately NIS 258,000), erroneous pay slips (approximately NIS 276,000), payment of wages in gross values instead of net values (approximately NIS 241,000).
Sysmop argued in its defense that Leonid's claim was without merit, fundamentally flawed, and over-exaggerated.
In support of Sysmop's claims regarding overtime, Sysmop attached a calculation on behalf of a payroll expert, who proved that the overtime hours due to Leonid were only approximately NIS 30,000.
Sysmop argued that Leonid's calculation in relation to overtime, which amounted as aforementioned to a total of about a quarter of a million NIS, was incorrect for several reasons: Leonid did not take into account the statute of limitations, as part of his claim relates to a period preceding 7 years from the date of filing of the claim; Leonid changed his overtime calculation method several times; He failed to offset absence hours against overtime in specific months; Leonid argued that the “global overtime” component in his pay slip was fictitious and should be ignored in the overtime calculation.
In conclusion, the Court accepted all of Sysmop’s claims regarding overtime, and completely dismissed Leonid's claim in this component.
With regards to erroneous pay slips, Leonid's claim was that some pay slips lacked details such as the hourly wage and the scope of the job. Leonid also argued that the pay slips included an incorrect hourly rate since the global overtime component was a fictitious component and was in fact part of Leonid's base salary. Accordingly, Leonid argued that there were 152 erroneous pay slips, for which he claimed compensated in the amount of NIS 1,818 each, and in total asked for compensation for this component, in the amount of NIS 276,336.
The Court ruled that Leonid's allegations were unfounded, and that Sysmop provided Leonid with pay slips that reflected his salary and that they were issued and delivered in a timely manner. The Court further ruled that Leonid himself testified that he was satisfied with his salary and that during his 12.5 years of employment, he never claimed to any flaw in his pay slips.
In light of the aforementioned, the Court ruled that there were no material errors in the pay slips that warranted compensation, and completely rejected Leonid's claim regarding this component.
Leonid also demanded an approximate amount NIS 241,000, for payment of wages in gross values instead of net values. This component of Leonid's claim was based on a notification on his pay slip, of a number of components that were entered in a column titled "Net for Grossing Up."
During the trial, it became clear that Leonid did not provide any evidence to support his claims. It was proved that Leonid never approached Sysmop during his entire extended period of employment or contended the method in which his salary was calculated.
Sysmop succeeded in proving that the entry on the pay slip was an incorrect entry, that is, an error in the presentation of the data but not an error in payment.
As a result, the Court completely dismissed the claim component of salary payment in gross instead of net values.
In conclusion of a claim in the amount of almost NIS 1 million, the Court ruled that Leonid was entitled to less than 4% of the original claim, i.e. an approximate amount of only NIS 37,000.
Throughout the ruling, the Court expressed strong criticism on Leonid's conduct and the many contradictions that arose during his cross-examination during the hearings.
Under these circumstances, the Court ruled that Leonid would pay Sysmop’s legal expenses and attorney's fees in the amount of NIS 10,000.
We are proud of our Labor Law Department, who handled this case from beginning to end without compromise, and achieved an impressive result for our client, Sysmop Technologies Ltd.
To read the full ruling, click here.
Case 64209-01-18 Leonid Gal v. Sysmop Technologies Ltd., given on November 18, 2020 in the Regional Labor Court in Nazareth.
This precedent-setting ruling won exposure in the written press.
For the link to the article in the Merkaz Ha’Inyanim ("Center of Affairs") magazine, click here.