Zialcita v. PAL (RO4-3-3398-76; February 20, 1977)

CASE DIGEST: ZIALCITA V. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. (Case No. RO4-3-3398-76; February 20, 1977). This is NOT a Supreme Court case; nevertheless, it is cited by huge authors in labor law such as Azucena.

 Zialcita is a stewardess of PAL. She was fired from work because she had gotten married. PAL argued and cited its policy that stewardesses must be single. The policy also states that subsequent marriage of a stewardess shall automatically terminate employment.

Zialcita anchored on Article 136 of the Labor Code. PAL sought refuge from Article 132.

Article 132 provides, "Article 132. Facilities for women. The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall establish standards that will ensure the safety and health of women employees. In appropriate cases, he shall, by regulations, require any employer to: To determine appropriate minimum age and other standards for retirement or termination in special occupations such as those of flight attendants and the like."

Article 136 provides, "Article 136. Stipulation against marriage. It shall be unlawful for an employer to require as a condition of employment or continuation of employment that a woman employee shall not get married, or to stipulate expressly or tacitly that upon getting married, a woman employee shall be deemed resigned or separated, or to actually dismiss, discharge, discriminate or otherwise prejudice a woman employee merely by reason of her marriage."

ISSUE: Was Zialcita's termination proper?

HELD: The termination was improper. First of all, during the time Zialcita was terminated, no regulation had yet been issued by the Secretary of Labor to implement Article 132. Second, even assuming that the Secretary of Labor had already issued such a regulation and to the effect that stewardesses should remain single, such would be in violation of Article 136 of the Labor Code.

Article 136's protection of women is broader and more powerful than the regulation provided under Article 132.