Stipulations against Marriage

Are stipulations against marriage in an employment contract valid?


Article 136 of the Labor Code considers as an unlawful act of the employer to require as a condition for or continuation of employment that a woman employee shall not get married or to stipulate expressly or tacitly 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.

Zialcita v. Philippine Airlines, Inc. (Case No. RO4-3-3398-76; February 20, 1977)

In this case decided by the Office of the President, the provision in a contract between an airline company and a 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 as a null and void provision; hence, cannot be enforced for being contrary to Article 136 of the Labor Code and the protection-to-labor clause in the Constitution.
Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company v. NLRC (G.R. No. 118978; May 23, 1997)

It was declared here that the 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.

Star Paper Corp. v. Simbol (G.R. No. 164774; April 12, 2006)

The following policies were struck down as invalid for violating the standard of reasonableness which is being followed in our jurisdiction, otherwise called the “Reasonable Business Necessity Rule”:

“1. New applicants will not be allowed to be hired if in case he/she has [a] relative, up to [the] 3rd degree of relationship, already employed by the company.

“2. In case of two of our employees (both singles [sic], one male and another female) developed a friendly relationship during the course of their employment and then decided to get married, one of them should resign to preserve the policy stated above.”

Duncan Association of Detailman-PTGWO v. Glaxo Welcome Philippines, Inc. (G.R. No. 162994; September 17, 2004)

In this case, the prohibition against marriage embodied in the following stipulation in the employment contract was held as valid:

“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 the dismissal based on this stipulation in the employment contract is a valid exercise of management prerogative. The prohibition against personal or marital relationships with employees of competitor companies upon its employees was held 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 secrets and procedures.