Playboy Israel employees complain to Hugh Hefner about not being paid

Playboy Israel employees and contributors say they haven’t been paid for their work, and that publisher Daniel Pomerantz “consistently did not allocate money in the pension fund of the employees – an act considered against the law in Israel.”
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They say in an email sent last week to Hugh Hefner and others:

It has been almost 3 months since Mr. Pomerantz had published an issue of the magazine, and in fact the editorial board has not been functioning since the beginning of December.

Most of the employees and freelancers had no choice but to leave or quit their job at the company due to finance issue.

I’ve asked Playboy for comment. It launched the Hebrew edition last March.

Read the employees’ letter after the jump.

To: Mr. Hugh Hefner
Mr. Mike Violano
Ms. Mary Nastos

A letter from “Playboy Israel” workers regarding publisher Daniel Pomerantz’s debt to us

We, the staff and workers of “Playboy Israel Ltd.”, in the past and present, have decided to contact you via this letter after spending months trying, using the conventional ways, to reach the “Playboy Israel Ltd.” Publisher, Mr. Daniel Pomerantz, and after we have seen that Mr. Pomerantz conduct endangers not only us, but also “Playboy” brand and reputation.

Daniel Pomerantz

Daniel Pomerantz

We appeal to you as a last attempt, before we turn in the next few days with this letter to the media and press in Israel and around the world, to bring out the truth and get our due.

You should know that Mr. Pomerantz is in due of over 200 thousand shekels (over 60 thousand dollars) of salaries and payments to the employees and freelancers of “Playboy Israel Ltd.”, all worked for the magazine. In addition, Mr. Pomerantz consistently did not allocate money in the pension fund of the employees – an act considered against the law in Israel.

In fact, Mr. Pomerantz had long ago breached all contracts and agreements that were made with us, and unfortunately continues to do so today. We can only imagine what would have happened if the situation was reversed.

You should also know that it has been almost 3 months since Mr. Pomerantz had published an issue of the magazine, and in fact the editorial board has not been functioning since the beginning of December.

Most of the employees and freelancers had no choice but to leave or quit their job at the company due to finance issue – caused by the fact that Mr. Pomerantz is not paying. Whoever is still his employee, is now sitting at home according to the instructions of Mr. Pomerantz.

In the present months the office is empty and no one knows what the future holds – since Mr. Pomerantz is rarely answering the phone, and he also does not give anyone a real report on the actual situation or his business plans – despite his many obligations and debts to us. When he does answer the phone, he claims that he has no money at the moment and that “money should arrive in 2 weeks” (we hear this from November 2013).

Every time we contacted Mr. Pomerantz about financial issues, from early June 2013, Mr. Pomerantz had spread around soothing promises, which were in fact lies, and asked us to consider his difficult finance situation.

Due to our Professionalism and ethical conscience and our desire to witness the success of Mr. Pomerantz and the magazine here in Israel, we have decided to take Mr. Pomerantz’s finance situation into consideration, even in times when we were not committed to do so.

Since we got the unequivocal impression that Mr. Pomerantz has no intention of paying us, a few employees have filed a lawsuit against Mr. Pomerantz and “Playboy Israel Ltd.” However, Mr. Pomerantz is not replying even to the Israeli court of law.

***
We are all professionals who carry a respectable resume, working for many years in the media – in Israel and abroad.

From the first day the Israeli magazine was established in Israel, we invested all our professional knowledge in it, and we all used connections and ‘pulled all of our strings’ – all to witness the success of the magazine and brand in Israel.

Needless to say that the main beneficiaries of our professional work are the Playboy brand – who enjoyed worldwide exposure following the launch of a magazine in Israel – and Mr. Pomerantz himself. However, we the workers know that without us, Mr. Pomerantz could not have had a worthy and respected magazine, and we all feel humiliated and betrayed.

When the vision of Mr. Pomerantz and Playboy was presented to us, we regarded it with enthusiasm and we were all honored to work for and to belong to a successful, intelligent and rooted global brand. We all knew that it is a difficult time for the printed media and that the success of the brand is not granted – But we assumed that the Playboy brand does not simply hand out franchises.

That’s why we all trusted the American lawyer that playboy had chosen to be the Israeli publisher. We all figured that at least we will get fair, professional and honest treatment – like the treatment we used to get from our previous Israeli employers. Unfortunately we found we were mistaken. Mr. Pomerantz treated us unfairly, and behaved in an unprofessional and dishonest manner.

In the passing year some of us worked personally with the Playboy USA staff, and have established good professional relations. Now we approach you, asking you to please help us put an end to this affair and get our rightful dues. We all have a real fear that Mr. Pomerantz may one day flee Israel and leave us behind with great debts.

All of the stated above is accompanied by legal proofs and documents, made by our private lawyers and the Israeli Journalists Association. We will never stop fighting – within the law – for what we are entitled to. We will do whatever is in our power to bring this matter to justice.

With much respect,
Playboy Israel employees and freelancers

* January 2014: Playboy Israel falls on hard times (haaretz.com)
* June 2013: Playboy hopes to push boundaries with a Hebrew edition (cnn.com)


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