Wrongful Termination? How to Sue When Illegally Terminated

Do you think that you have been fired for illegal reasons?

If you need to verify if you have been subject to wrongful termination, you can check The Labor Code of the Philippines. The code details the rules that apply when it comes to:

  • Hiring and firing private employees
  • Working conditions including work hours and overtime
  • Benefits such as 13th month pay, holiday pay, sick days, vacation leaves, etc.
  • Labor relations

Grounds for termination

The conditions detailed in your employment contract will serve as the basis for your termination or dismissal, as long as they do not violate provisions in the Labor Code. Make sure you thoroughly read your employment contract before signing.

  • Termination due to just cause

Outside of your contract, however, there are instances wherein you can be terminated for just cause. Under Article 288 of The Labor Code, these include:

  • Misconduct
  • Willfully disobeying the lawful orders of one’s employer or a representative of said employer
  • Habitual neglect of duties
  • Fraud or breach of trust
  • Committing a crime against one’s employer or their representative and the employer’s immediate family member
  • Termination due to authorized causes

According to Articles 283 and 284, the following are authorized grounds for dismissal.

  • When labor-saving devices are installed such that the employee’s services no longer needed
  • Redundancy due to:
    •  Overhiring
    • Decreased business
    • Dropping of a product line or service
  • Retrenchment or downsizing to save a failing business, with a “last in, first out” guideline in which newer hires are terminated before more senior ones, and  temporary employees retrenched over regular ones
  • The business shuts down
  • An employee’s health condition as certified by a public health authority, in which the employee poses a danger to themselves and the people they work with

Termination of Employment and Due Process

Even if there are grounds to justify your termination, the employer must comply with due processes as laid out by The Labor Code.

Your employer must complete the following steps:

If your termination is based on just cause, your employer must:

  • Issue  a written notice specifying the grounds for termination, along with the opportunity to explain your side
  • Allow you a hearing (with counsel if you wish) where you can respond to charges made against you
  • Give a written notice of termination along with the evidence and grounds to justify your dismissal

If your termination is based on authorized causes, your employer must:

  • Give a 30-day notice of your dismissal, specifying the cause for termination
  • Submit a copy of the notice to the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) where the employer’s address is.

What to do next

Should your termination not comply with conditions and due processes, or if you would like to contest your dismissal, it’s time to bring this to court. Call Duran & Duran-Schulze Law at (+632) 478 5826 or send an email to info@duranschulze.com.

Once you have the expertise of a lawyer, you and your legal counsel can file a case at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) or at the Philippines Oversea Employment Authority (POEA) if you are an OFW.

Source: Bureau of Labor Relations

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