Lebanon has been on revolution-mode since Thursday night, 17th October, ever since the Lebanese government announced new taxes on people’s basic and everyday needs. Protests have been erupting all over Lebanon and in different areas in North, South, Beqaa, and Beirut.
For seven days straight, protesters are refusing to get out of the streets, holding tight to their demands and their pressure on the government, and they are doing so by also closing up roads with their massive presence to paralyze the country.
Due to the 7 days paralysis of the country, many employees are unable to get to their jobs, and many others are refusing to go because they are protesting better salaries and more job opportunities.
However, this has caused a lot of conflicts within organizations, some leading to terminations or possible suspension of employees due to their absences. It is a difficult status for all involved, and even more on the patriotic protesters who need both their jobs and their revolution.
Caring about the revolution to succeed and the protesters sacrificing for all the nation, some legal professionals have taken the personal initiative to do their part and help out. These two lawyers, which social media announcements we have come about, are offering their legal services for free to protesters who get fired for being unable to go to work while protesting.
Standing up as responsible citizens, Lawyer Maha Al-Yafi and Ourouba Al-Harake have announced on their Instagram and Facebook pages full support and commitment to the protest.
They are willing to take any case of unjust termination of employees that are either contracted, enrolled in the Lebanese National Social Security Funds (NSSF), or can prove that they are employed, even in the absence of contract and NSSF. To note, All Lebanese employees fall under the protection of the Lebanese Law of Labor.
According to the article 50 of that Law, arbitrary expulsion/dismissal is not tolerated by the law if an employee was unable to get to work because of exceptional conditions like pregnancy, arrests, and strikes/protests.
Both lawyers, Maha Al-Yafi and Ourouba Al Harake, have received many positive feedbacks and praises on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Lebanese protesters now feel legally supported and can confidently practice their right to protest under the protection of the law.
In case of arbitrary expulsion or a violation in the employee’s right, employees have the right to seek the arbitration work council and the council will take it from there and legally amend the violation.
On another hand, speculations of an immediate governmental resignation after eight days of protests, according to the Constitution of Lebanon, have been circulating around social media.
This is unfortunately, false. According to the Constitution of Lebanon, article 17; “Executive power shall be entrusted to the Council of Ministers and the council shall exercise it in accordance with conditions stated in this constitution.” In other means, the Council of Ministers has the full authority to choose to resign or to stay.
Fake news is often widely spread during revolutions and mass change. We ought to stay aware of rights and wrongs and avoid any news that may cause false propaganda, which doesn't serve the citizens.