Employers should prove payment of wages

In Veterans Security Agency, Inc. v. Gonzalvo, Jr.[1] citing Mayon Hotel & Restaurant v. Adana,[2] the Supreme Court held that, inasmuch as the employee had set out with particularity in the complaint, position paper, affidavits and other documents the labor standard benefits he is entitled to, and which he alleged that the employer had failed to pay him, it became incumbent upon the employer to prove that it had paid these money claims. This is in tune with the general precept that: "One who pleads payment has the burden of proving it, and even where the employees must allege non-payment, the general rule is that the burden rests on the defendant to prove non-payment, rather than on the plaintiff to prove non payment."[3]

The reason for this rule is that the pertinent personnel files, payrolls, records, remittances and other similar documents — which will show that overtime, differentials, service incentive leave and other claims of workers have been paid — are not in the possession of the worker but in the custody and absolute control of the employer. (G.R. No. 210184, February 05, 2014)

[1] 514 Phil. 488, 502 (2005).
[2] 497 Phil. 892, 923-924 (2005).
[3] Id. at 924.

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