The Law on Impossible Reinstatement


The backwages that should be awarded to Domingo shall be reckoned from the time his constructive dismissal took effect until the finality of this decision. This is in conformity with Article 279 of the Labor Code which provides that an employee who is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent, computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement. Since reinstatement of Domingo is no longer possible due to his strained relations with the management of Siemens Philippines, and considering the position he held in the company, he is lawfully entitled to receive backwages. For the same reason cited above, consultancy fees shall be excluded in the computation of Domingo's backwages. (G.R. No. 150488)
Under the doctrine of strained relations, the payment of separation pay is considered an acceptable alternative to reinstatement when the latter option is no longer desirable or viable. On one hand, such payment liberates the employee from what could be a highly oppressive work environment. On the other hand, it releases the employer from the grossly unpalatable obligation of maintaining in its employ a worker it could no longer trust. (G.R. No. 187200)

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