Unlike the United States of America, which has an “at-will employment” doctrine, employers in the Philippines can only terminate their relationship with an employee if a “just” or “authorized” cause, as defined under the law, has been established, after undergoing due process.Thus, terminating an employee in the country is taken VERY seriously and can be a complex process, especially since, when in doubt, the Labor Code of the Philippines is construed in favor of employees.However, there are at least two cases where employees who resign voluntarily may be entitled to separation pay, and they are as follows: Due process in the context of employment termination is the right of an employee to be notified of the reason for his or her dismissal and, in case of just causes, to be provided the opportunity to defend himself or herself.
Can an employee be placed under suspension while the investigation and/or hearing for the charges filed against them is ongoing?
-Yes, but only on grounds where the employee’s continued presence inside the company premises poses a serious and imminent threat to the life or property of the employer and/or the other employees in the company.
Dismissals based on just causes involve the two-notice rule: What is the right to security of tenure?
-The right to security of tenure is a Constitutional guarantee that means an employee cannot be dismissed from the service for causes other than those provided by the law and only after due process is accorded to them.
Just cause involves a two-notice rule while authorized cause requires a 30-day notice.
If due process is not accorded to the employee before termination of the employment or the termination itself is declared illegal, the employee is entitled to receive reinstatement and full backwages (Art. If reinstatement is no longer possible where the dismissal was unjust, separation pay may be granted.
-The employee must elaborate, support, or substantiate their complaint that they were dismissed without valid cause.
In cases of illegal dismissal, who has the duty of proving that the dismissal is valid? What is the sanction if the employer failed to observe procedural due process in cases of legal and authorized termination?
Philippine laws only grant separation pay to those who were dismissed from service not due to their own fault or negligence but for reasons that are beyond their control, i.e.
business closure, cessation of operation, retrenchment (reduction of costs) to prevent losses, etc.