Summary of General Principles in Labor Law

The principle "that employees are protected by law from unwarranted practices that diminish their compensation without their knowledge and consent" is in accord with the constitutional principle of the State affording full protection to labor. (G.R. No. 85333; February 26, 1990)

The constitutional mandate for the protection of labor is as explicit as it is demanding. The purpose is to place the workingman on an equal plane with management — with all its power and influence — in negotiating for the advancement of his interests and the defense of his rights. Under the policy of social justice, the law bends over backward to accommodate the interests of the working class on the humane justification that those with less privileges in life should have more privileges in law. (G.R. No. 77875, February 4, 1993)

The rule that there should be concern, sympathy and solicitude for the rights and welfare of the working class, is meet and proper. That in controversies between a laborer and his master, doubts reasonably arising from the evidence or in the interpretation of agreements and writings should be resolved in the former's favor, is not an unreasonable or unfair rule. But to disregard the employer's own rights and interests solely on the basis of that concern and solicitude for labor is unjust and unacceptable. (G.R. No. 78409, September 14, 1989)

The right of a laborer to sell his labor to such persons as he may choose is, in its essence, the same as the right of an employer to purchase labor from any person whom it chooses. The employer and the employee have thus an equality of right guaranteed by the Constitution. 'If the employer can compel the employee to work against the latter's will, this is servitude. If the employee can compel the employer to give him work against the employer's will, this is oppression. (G.R. No. 46739, September 23, 1939)
The law regards the worker with compassion. Our society is a compassionate one. Where a penalty less punitive would suffice, whatever missteps may be committed by the worker should not be visited by the supreme penalty of dismissal. This is not only because of the law's concern for the working man. There is in addition, his family to consider. After all, labor determinations should not only be secundum caritatem but also secundum caritatem. (G.R. No. 75704, July 19, 1989)

When the conflicting interests of labor and capital are weighed on the scales of social justice, the heavier influence of the latter must be counterbalanced by the sympathy and compassion the law must accord the underprivileged worker. This is only fair if he is to be given the opportunity — and the right— to assert and defend his cause not as a subordinate but as a peer of management, with which he can negotiate on even plane. Labor is not a mere employee of capital but its active and equal partner. (G.R. No. L-76633, October 18, 1988)

It is well-settled that "all doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of the Labor Code . . . shall be resolved in favor of labor." And as previously stated, labor in this case refers to the union members, as employees of the Company. (G.R. No. 85333, February 26, 1990)

In carrying out and interpreting the Labor Code's provisions and its implementing regulations, the workingman's welfare should be the primordial and paramount consideration. (G.R. No. 50999-51000, March 23, 1990)

It is a basic and irrefragable rule that in carrying out and in interpreting the provisions of the Labor Code and its implementing regulations, the workingman's welfare should be the primordial and paramount consideration. (G.R. No. 168988, June 19, 2007)

In employee compensation, persons charged by law to carry out the Constitution's social justice objectives should adopt a liberal attitude in deciding compensability claims and should not hesitate to grant compensability where a reasonable measure of work-connection can be inferred. Only this kind of interpretation can give meaning and substance to the law's compassionate spirit as expressed in Article 4 of the Labor Code — that all doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of the Labor Code, including their implementing rules and regulations, should be resolved in favor of labor. (G.R. No. 157038, December 23, 2009)

Another basic principle is that expressed in Article 4 of the Labor Code — that all doubts in the interpretation and implementation of the Labor Code — should be interpreted in favor of the workingman. This principle has been extended by jurisprudence to cover doubts in the evidence presented by the employer and the employee. (G.R. No. 177114, January 21, 2010)

Regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in harmony with the provisions of the law, and for the sole purpose of carrying into effect its general provisions. By such regulations, of course, the law itself can not be extended. So long, however, as the regulations relate solely to carrying into effect the provisions of the law, they are valid. (G.R. No. L-28952, December 29, 1971)

Administrative rules and regulations must be published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation. The only exceptions are interpretative regulations, those merely internal in nature, or those so-called letters of instructions issued by administrative superiors concerning the rules and guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the performance of their duties. (G.R. No. 63915, April 24, 1985)

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