Termination of Employment (Philippine Labor Laws)

It must be borne in mind that the basic principle in termination cases is that the burden of proof rests upon the employer to show that the dismissal is for just cause and failure to do so would necessarily mean that the dismissal is not justified and, therefore the employee is entitled to be reinstated in accordance with the mandate of Article 280 of the New Labor Code on security of tenure. (G.R. No. 64190, January 31, 1985)

The law requires that an employee sought to be dismissed must be served two written notices before termination of his employment. The first notice is to apprise the employee of the particular acts or omissions by reason of which his dismissal has been decided upon; and the second notice is to inform the employee of the employer's decision to dismiss him. Failure to comply with the requirement of two notices makes the dismissal illegal. The procedure is mandatory. Non-observance thereof renders the dismissal of an employee illegal and void. (G.R. No. 116384, February 7, 2000)

[W]here there is valid or authorized cause for the dismissal of the employee, but the employer failed to comply with statutory due process in effecting the same, the dismissal is not illegal. Logically, if there is no illegal dismissal in such a case, then we can deduce that the dismissed employee cannot avail himself of the rights under Article 279 of the Labor Code, i.e., reinstatement and full backwages. What the employee can demand from the employer, according to Agabon, is the payment of nominal damages as indemnification for the violation of the former's statutory rights. (G.R. No. 164820, December 8, 2008; G.R. No. 158693, November 17, 2004)

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