What is the reasonable causal connection rule?

Under this rule, if there is a reasonable causal connection between the claim asserted and the employer-employee relations, then the case is within the jurisdiction of labor courts. In the absence of such nexus, it is the regular courts that have jurisdiction.

While we have upheld the present trend to refer worker-employer controversies to labor courts in light of the aforequoted provision, we have also recognized that not all claims involving employees can be resolved solely by our labor courts, specifically when the law provides otherwise. For this reason, we have formulated the "reasonable causal connection rule," wherein if there is a reasonable causal connection between the claim asserted and the employer-employee relations, then the case is within the jurisdiction of the labor courts; and in the absence thereof, it is the regular courts that have jurisdiction. Such distinction is apt since it cannot be presumed that money claims of workers which do not arise out of or in connection with their employer-employee relationship, and which would therefore fall within the general jurisdiction of the regular courts of justice, were intended by the legislative authority to be taken away from the jurisdiction of the courts and lodged with Labor Arbiters on an exclusive basis. (G.R. No. 171212; August 4, 2014)


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