Supreme Court: "Employer should show medical certificate to fire sick worker"

The requirement for a medical certificate under Article 284 of the Labor Code cannot be dispensed with; otherwise, it would sanction the unilateral and arbitrary determination by the employer of the gravity or extent of the employee's illness and thus defeat the public policy on the protection of labor. (G.R. No. 129584)

An employer has the right to dismiss an employee who is sick. However, requirements by law must be strictly complied with.

Being regular employees, the dismissal effected by petitioner must comply with the requirements of Article 284 of the Labor Code. It is not disputed that an employer may terminate the services of his employee who has been found to be suffering from a disease when the latter's continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees. However, the dismissal may not be summarily carried out. The employer must comply with certain prerequisites contained in Sec. 8, Rule I, Book VI, of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code. (G.R. No. 143949)
For a dismissal on the ground of disease to be considered valid, two requisites must concur: (a) the employee must be suffering from a disease which cannot be cured within six months and his continued employment is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees; and (b) a certification to that effect must be issued by a competent public health authority. The burden falls upon the employer to establish these requisites, and in the absence of such certification, the dismissal must necessarily be declared illegal. (G.R. No. 167727)

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