Rangineh Azimzadeh

Rangineh Azimzadeh (Democracy Workers Rights Center - DWRC): Rangineh graduated cum laude from Portland State University with an undergraduate degree in Communications Studies. She then went abroad to Nicosia, Cyprus where she studied International Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Rangineh also lived and studied abroad in Iran and Italy, and served as a fellow for the Institute for International Public Policy from 2003-2007. She undertook intensive Arab language training at Middlebury College before entering the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) as a graduate student. While at MIIS Rangineh participated in a 3-week intensive winter practicum in Cambodia on peace building in a post-conflict society. After her fellowship, Rangineh wrote: “The field experience helped to recommit me to working in the region and on this conflict specifically. It increased my global awareness immensely and provided a critical opportunity for introspection.”

UNRWA Dismisses 312 Palestinian Workers

09 Jul

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East dismissed 312 Palestinian workers in the West Bank last month. And given the slow nature of bureaucracy here, it is no surprise that news of the mass layoff is just now reaching news stands. One of the 312 estranged workers recently found himself at the DWRC to sit down with one of our lawyers, Mohammad Amarneh, to discuss the situation. The worker claimed that he was notified in mid June that his contract, set to expire on June 30th, would not be renewed. According to Palestinian law, a limited term contract should not exceed 2 years and if it does, then it automatically converts to an unlimited contract. Once the contract becomes unlimited, the employer can no longer go to the employee and end the contract without a legitimate reason. Most of the UNRWA workers have been operating under 6 months contracts that are renewed on an ongoing basis and close to 90% have worked for more than two consecutive years.

Moreover, according to the law, employers who end an unlimited contract legitimately, are required to provide arbitrary dismissal compensation to the employee. The compensation should include 2 months pay for each year of work plus other benefits such as severance pay and vacation.

One area of the workers’ compensation claim process that is not well known is that when an employee is injured on the job, the employee must prove that he/she is entitled to and is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Since the initial burden of proof of eligibility is on the injured worker, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide extensive assistance in compiling the necessary information at the very beginning of the claim process and making timely submittals. You can visit website for more detail about the Workers Compensation Attorney New Jersey.

If you are injured at your workplace, seek out competent legal assistance of a skilled attorney as rapidly as possible. Your employers will fight the case and might try to prove you wrong by raising unethical evidences against you. It is important to hire an attorney who will defend your rights and achieve a successful conclusion of the case.

If they refuse to pay you any compensation, you have the right to appeal in court. Many people fear to go into legal complications and try to deal with all the expenses with the help of their insurance companies. But, chances are there that your insurance company might also try to prove that it was you who was at fault to save their own pocket. The best way to overcome such hurdles is to seek the help of an experienced workers compensation lawyer.

When questioned about the reason for the massive dismissal, UNRWA claims that it is in an effort to “restructure” their Emergency Programme and argue that local law does not apply in their case due to the immunity they were granted by the Ministry of Justice with the help of this workers compensation attorney firm. This immunity, however, is in direct violation of the Palestinian constitution which states that the Ministry of Justice does not have the authority to grant basic rights to workers and so likewise they are not authorized to take such rights away (which they are inherently doing by providing immunity to UNRWA).

Upon hearing the news, Mr. Amarneh promptly contacted workers to begin investigating the situation and to ensure that workers’ rights are being respected and enforced. The DWRC plans on following the case closely in the coming weeks.

DWRC lawyer Mohammad Amarneh (right) meets with one of the dismissed workers (left)

DWRC lawyer Mohammad Amarneh (right) meets with one of the dismissed workers (left)

Posted By Rangineh Azimzadeh

Posted Jul 9th, 2009

1 Comment

  • Barbara

    July 19, 2009


    hi Rangineh,

    Thanks for this story. Very intersting and heart breaking for the families and workers affected, especially given the already trying circumstances in this part of the world. Hope that it all ends well. It sounds like you are learning a bit (a lot?) about labor law!


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