Best Legal Practices: Disciplining or Terminating an Employee

Best Legal Practices are designed to protect businesses and organizations by preventing lawsuits and liabilities. These are best practices with legal compliance. For labor law, best legal practices are sourced from labor laws, rules and regulations, jurisprudence, and industry best practices.

Due Process Termination: Legal Way to Dismiss an Employee

Due process termination is the legal way to terminate an employee. Without due process, the employer will be liable for illegal dismissal, full backwages, reinstatement, separation pay if reinstatement is not feasible, moral and exemplary damages, nominal damages, and attorney’s fees. Illegal dismissal could result in a huge monetary award.

United Tourist Promotions (UTP) v. Harland B. Kemplin

An employee’s guilt or innocence in a criminal case is not determinative of the existence of a just or authorized cause for his dismissal.

G.R. No. 205453, 05 February 2014

Complainant Harland B. Kemplin initiated a labor complaint against his employer defendant United Tourist Promotions (UTP), and its sole proprietor defendant Ariel D. Jersey. Sometime in 1995, Complainant and the late Mike Dunne formed UTP with the help of two American expatriates. In 2002, UTP engaged Complainant to be its President for five years. Even after the period, Complainant retained his position. In 30 July 2009, UTP sent Complainant a letter informing him of the lapse of his contract and its non-renewal resulting in his no longer being employed. Further, the letter directed Complainant to cease and desist from entering the premises due to the various criminal cases filed against him arising of his “inhuman treatment… of the rank and file employees, which caused great damage and [prejudice] to the company.”

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Raul C. Cosare v. Broadcom Asia, Inc.

Constructive dismissal occurs when there is cessation of work because continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable, or unlikely as when there is a demotion in rank or diminution in pay or when a clear discrimination, insensibility, or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to the employee leaving the latter with no other option but to quit.

G.R. No. 201298, 05 February 2014

Complainant Raul C. Cosare instituted a labor complaint primarily for constructive dismissal against his employer defendant Broadcom Asia, Inc., and its president defendant Dante Arevalo.

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International School of Manila v. International School Alliance of Educators (ISAE)

Gross inefficiency is a just case since it is closely related to gross neglect.

G.R. No. 167286, 05 February 2014

Complainant Evangeline Santos filed a labor complaint for illegal dismissal against her employer defendant International School Manila and Brian McCauley. Previously, complainant was “first hired by the School in 1978 as a full-time Spanish language teacher.” After filing for a leave of one academic year, she agreed to teach the only available Spanish class and four other classes of Filipino.

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Manila Water Company v. Carlito Del Rosario

By way of exception, legally dismissed employee may be awarded separation pay provided that the dismissal (1) was not for serious misconduct; and (2) did not reflect on the moral character of the employee.

G.R. No. 188747, 28 January 2014

Previously, complainant was hired as an Instrument Technician. Sometime afterwards, Defendant discovered that 24 meters were missing in its stockroom. “Upon initial investigation, it appeared that [complainant] and his co-employee, a certain Danilo Manguera, were involved in the pilferage and the sale of water meters to the company’s contractor. Consequently, Manila Water issued a Memorandum dated 23 June 2000, directing [complainant] to explain in writing within 72 hours why he should not be dealt with administratively for the loss of the said water meters. In his letter-explanation, [complainant] confessed his involvement in the act charged and pleaded for forgiveness, promising not to commit similar acts in the future.”

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Grand Asian Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Wilfredo Galvez

In termination disputes, the burden of proving that the dismissal is for a just or valid cause rests on the employers. Failure on their part to discharge such burden will render the dismissal illegal.

G.R. No. 178184, 29 January 2014

Complainants Wilfredo Galvez, Joel Sales, Cristito Gruta, Danilo Arguelles, Renato Batayola, Patricio Fesmillo, Jovy Noble, Emilio Dominico, Benny Nilmao, and Jose Austral, filed a labor complaint for illegal dismissal and monetary claims against their employer defendant Grand Asian Shipping Lines, Inc. (GASLI), and its President Eduardo P. Francisco, and General Manager William How.

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