Employer's Policies on Marriage

The employer has the prerogative to establish a policy on marriage. Jurisprudence has recognized and established some definitive standards to determine whether such marital policy is valid or not.

When are rules on marriage between employees and employees of competitors allowed?

In the case of Duncan Association of Detailman-PTGWO v. Glaxo Wellcome Philippines, Inc. , the contract of employment expressly prohibited an employee from having a relationship with an employee of a competitor company. It provides:

“10. You agree to disclose to management any existing or future relationship you may have, either by consanguinity or affinity with co-employees or employees of competing drug companies. Should it pose a possible conflict of interest in management discretion, you agree to resign voluntarily from the Company as a matter of Company policy.”

The Supreme Court ruled that this stipulation is a valid exercise of management prerogative. The prohibition against personal or marital relationships with employees of competitor-companies upon its employees is reasonable under the circumstances because relationships of that nature might compromise the interests of the company. In laying down the assailed company policy, the employer only aims to protect its interests against the possibility that a competitor company will gain access to its trade secrets, manufacturing formulas, marketing strategies and other confidential programs and information.
Now, when are these rules not valid?

Article 136 of the Labor Code considers as an unlawful act of the employer to stipulate, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment, that a woman employee shall not get married, or that upon getting married, a woman employee shall be deemed resigned or separated. It is likewise an unlawful act of the employer, to actually dismiss, discharge, discriminate or otherwise prejudice a woman employee merely by reason of her marriage.

In PT & T v. NLRC, it was held that a company policy of not accepting or considering as disqualified from work any woman worker who contracts marriage runs afoul of the test of, and the right against, discrimination afforded all women workers by our labor laws and by no less than the Constitution.

In a case decided by the Office of the President, Zialcita v. Philippine Airlines, Inc., the stipulation in the contract between PAL and the flight attendant which states that “flight attendant-applicants must be single and that they shall be automatically separated from employment in the event they subsequently get married” was declared null and void and cannot thus be enforced for being contrary to Article 136 of the Labor Code and the protection-to-labor clause in the Constitution.

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