Employee who refuses to work overtime may be fired

Overtime work is that done beyond eight hours within the same work day. Hence, an employee who works nine hours a day is entitled to extra compensation of equivalent to 25% (or 30% on an extraordinary day) of her hourly rate for every hour worked beyond the first eight hours. This extra compensation is called "overtime pay."

Generally, overtime work is NOT mandatory. An employee can refuse to render overtime work. However, Article 89 of the Labor Code of the Philippines provides rules on "emergency overtime work." Any employee may be required by the employer to perform overtime work in any of the following cases:

[1] When the country is at war;
[2] When any other national or local emergency has been declared by Congress or by the President;
[3] When it is necessary to prevent loss of life or property;
[4] In case of imminent danger to public safety due to an actual or impending emergency in the locality caused by serious accidents, fire, flood, typhoon, earthquake, epidemic, or other disaster or calamity;
[5] When there is urgent work to be performed on machines, installations, or equipment, in order to avoid serious loss or damage to the employer or some other cause of similar nature;
[6] When the work is necessary to prevent loss or damage to perishable goods; and
[7] Where the completion or continuation of the work started before the eighth hour is necessary to prevent serious obstruction or prejudice to the business or operations of the employer.

Under the Omnibus Rules to Implement the Labor Code, the following additional circumstance warranting emergency/forced overtime work is provided: [8] "When overtime work is necessary to avail of favorable weather or environmental conditions where performance or quality of work is dependent thereon."

Any employee required to render overtime work in the circumstances above shall be paid the additional compensation required under the law on overtime pay.

IMPORTANT! If an employee required by the employer to render emergency overtime work refuses to do so, she may be fired from work on the ground of insubordination or willful disobedience.

Under the Code, an employer may terminate an employment for any of the following cause, among others: "Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work; xxx."

This is the opinion expressed by J.G. Chan in his book "Bar Reviewer on Labor Law" (2017 Edition, Page 121). His book is available at http://publishing.chanrobles.com/laborlawreview.php.