I have a friend who’s boss was not happy with his work and fired him. My friend wants to sue him in Israeli (thats where they live) secular court for unlawful termination of contract etc. – he says he only told him he was fired 30 days before but didn’t put it in writing etc.
I remember hearing that any time two Jews have claims on each other they are supposed to first try beit din and not secular court. Is this just preferred? Is it mandated? Can you please shed some light on this and the halachic ramifications?
It is mandatory for two Jews with a dispute to take the issue to beis din, a Jewish court of law, and not to a secular court. Only if the beis din sees that it is unable to deal with the case, principly because one of the litigants refuses to show up, is permission given to take the case to the secular courts.
In some batei din the general assumption is that cases of employment are dealt with under principles of secular law, because the halachah follows the custom, and the custom (when it comes to employment) follows the law. However, this does not give a person the right to take his claim to court, and all claims must first be made by means of a beis din.