Revisit law on illegal dismissal cases
Employers who face complaints for illegal dismissal before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) should know the repercussions in case of an unfavorable judgment against them.
An adverse decision of the labor arbiter that involves a monetary award can only be appealed to the commission by the employer by posting a cash or security bond.
Should the NLRC affirm the decision of the arbiter, the same is immediately executory, unless restrained by the appellate court on a petition for certiorari.
If the final decision favors the complainant, the usual award is the payment of full back wages with reinstatement.
Just imagine the burden on the employer if the case drags on for several years.
Failure of the employer to comply with the two-notice rule, which gives the complainant the right to be heard, investigated and to defend himself of the charges, is one sure way to lose the case.
The Supreme Court had previously set a limit of three years in the award of back wages. Moreover, income earned from employment during the pendency of the case could be deducted from the final award against the employer. At present, there is no maximum limit on back wages and income earned is not deductible.
It is about time the law and jurisprudence on illegal dismissal cases be revisited and revised, to protect entrepreneurs who are the engine of economic growth.
DAVID L. KHO
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