Purpose of labor legislation


QUESTION: What is the purpose of labor legislation?

ANSWER: Labor legislation is an exercise of police power.

The purpose of labor legislation is to regulate the relations between employers and employees respecting the terms and conditions of employment, either by providing for certain minimum standards or for a legal framework within which better terms and conditions of work could be negotiated through collective bargaining. It is intended to correct the injustices inherent in employer-employee relationship.

However, concern for labor as embodied in the Constitution does not mean "going out on a limb" and considering all diseases of employed persons as occupational diseases. Distinction must be made between the personality of an employee as a constituent of "labor" and his character as a mere constituent of the general citizenry. If such employee suffers injury or contracts a disease as a constituent of "labor," he is entitled to all benefits derivable from labor legislation. But if the injury or the disease is not labor-connected but is suffered by an employee as a constituent of the general citizenry, he deserves no special treatment granted to labor.  (J. MELENCIO-HERRERA's dissenting opinion in G.R. No. L-45846.)

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