You are on page 1of 21

A Compilation of Labor Relations Pointers

(Part I)

Cristine D. Bilocura
JD-III Moot Court
March 2017

Original and exclusive jurisdiction and functions

of the following, enumerated.

The following cases falls within the jurisdiction of the
Labor Arbiter: (a-f Article 224 of the Labor Code):
(1) Unfair labor practice (ULP) cases;
(2) Termination disputes (or illegal dismissal cases);
(3) Cases that workers may file involving wages, rates of
pay, hours of work and other terms and conditions of
employment, if accompanied with claim for reinstatement;
(4) Claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of
damages arising from the employer-employee relations;
(5) Cases arising from any violation of Article 264 of this
Code, including questions involving the legality of strikes
and lockouts;
(6) Except claims for Employees Compensation, Social
Security, Medicare and maternity benefits, all other claims
arising from employer-employee relations, including those
of persons in domestic or household service, involving an
amount exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000.00)
regardless of whether accompanied with a claim for
(7) Wage distortion disputes in unorganized
establishments not voluntarily settled by parties pursuant to
Republic Act No. 6727;
(8) Enforcement of compromise agreements when there is
non-compliance by any of the parties pursuant to Article
227 of the Labor Code, as amended;
(9) Money claims arising out of employer-employee
relationship or by virtue of any law or contract, involving
Filipino workers for overseas deployment, including claims
for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages as
provided by Section 10, Republic Act No. 8042, as amended
by Republic Act No. 10022; and
(10) Other cases as may be provided by law.
NLRC exercises two kinds of jurisdiction: original and
exclusive appellate jurisdiction:
It has original jurisdiction of the following cases:
(1) Injunction in ordinary labor disputes to enjoin or
restrain any actual or threatened commission of any or all
prohibited or unlawful acts or to require the performance
of a particular act in any labor dispute which, if not
restrained or performed forthwith, may cause grave or
irreparable damage to any party;
(2) Injunction in strikes or lockouts under Article 264 of
the Labor Code;
(3) Certified labor disputes causing or likely to cause a
strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the
national interest, certified to it by the Secretary of Labor
and Employment for compulsory arbitration.

The Commission also exercises exclusive appellate

jurisdiction over the following cases:
(1) All cases decided by the Labor Arbiters including
contempt cases;
(2) Cases decided by the DOLE Regional Directors or his
duly authorized Hearing Officers (under Article 129)
involving recovery of wages, simple money claims and other
benefits not exceeding P5,000 and not accompanied by
claim for reinstatement.


Article 129 of the Labor Code provides that the
Regional Director or any of the duly authorized hearing
officers of DOLE have jurisdiction over claims for recovery
of wages, simple money claims and other benefits, including
legal interest, provided that the aggregate money claims of
each employee or house helper does not exceed five
thousand pesos (P5,000.00)


duly authorized representative
DOLE Secretary and his duly authorized
representatives exercises jurisdiction over the following:
(1) Visitorial and Enforcement power under Article 128 of
the Labor Code, specifically the following powers:
(a) Power to inspect employers records and premises
at any time of the day or night whenever work is being
undertaken therein, and the right to copy therefrom, to
question any employee and investigate any fact,
condition or matter which may be necessary to
determine violations or which may aid in the
enforcement of the Labor Code and of any labor law,
wage order or rules and regulations issued pursuant
(b) Power to issue compliance orders to give effect to
the labor standards provisions of this Code and other
labor legislation based on the findings of labor
employment and enforcement officers or industrial
safety engineers made in the course of inspection.
(c) Power to issue writs of execution to the
appropriate authority for the enforcement of their
orders, except in cases where the employer contests
the findings of the labor employment and enforcement
officer and raises issues supported by documentary
proofs which were not considered in the course of
(d) Power to order stoppage of work or suspension of
operations of any unit or department of an
establishment when non-compliance with the law or
implementing rules and regulations poses grave and
imminent danger to the health and safety of workers in
the workplace.
(e) Power of the Secretary of Labor and Employment
to assume jurisdiction or certify national interest
labor disputes to NLRC, when, in his opinion, there
exists a labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike
or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national
interest (Article 278 (g) of the Labor Code).
(2) The following are the cases falling under the DOLE
Secretarys appellate power:
(a) Orders issued by the duly authorized
representative of the Secretary of Labor and
Employment under Article 128 (Visitorial and
Enforcement Power) may be appealed to the latter.
(Art. 128).
(b) Denial of application for union registration or
cancellation of union registration originally rendered
by the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) may be
appealed to the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
(NOTE: If originally rendered by the Regional Office,
appeal should be made to the BLR).
(c) Decisions of the Med-Arbiter in certification
election cases are appealable to the DOLE Secretary.
(Art. 272). (NOTE: Decisions of Med-Arbiters in intra-
union disputes are appealable to the BLR).


The BLR has original and exclusive jurisdiction over
the following:
(1) Inter-union disputes or representation disputes
which refer to cases involving petition for certification
election filed by a duly registered labor organization which
is seeking to be recognized as the sole and exclusive
bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees in the
appropriate bargaining unit of a company, firm or
(2) Intra-union disputes or internal union disputes
which refer to disputes or grievances arising from any
violation of or disagreement over any provision of the
constitution and by-laws of the union, including any
violation of the rights and conditions of union membership
provided for in the Labor Code; and
(3) All disputes, grievances or problems arising from or
affecting labor-management relations in all workplaces,
except those arising from the interpretation or
implementation of the CBA which are subject of grievance
procedure and/or voluntary arbitration.
F. Med-arbiter/BLR (from CHAN reviewer)
An officer in the Regional office or Bureau of Labor
Relations authorized to hear and decide representation
cases, inter/intra union disputes and other related labor
relations dispute, except cancellation of union registration
(1) All matters falling under the jurisdiction of the BLR are
initially resolved by the med-arbiter
(2) Petition for certification election are heard and
resolved by med-arbiters, including other necessary
steps/procedures therein such as preliminary conference,
to call for consent election, to order for the election of
officers, etc. The med-arbiter shall have control of the
(3) With respect to intra-union disputes, when any
complaint or petition with allegations of mishandling,
misappropriation or non-accounting of funds in violation of
At 241(old labor code) shall be treated as intra-union
dispute. It shall be heard and resolved by the med-arbiter

(1) EO no. 251
(a) The conciliation, mediation, and voluntary arbitration
functions of the Bureau of Labor Relations shall be
absorbed by the NCMB.
(b) It is with the CMB that notices of strike or lockout are

(1) Formulate policies, programs, procedures, standards,
operation manuals and guidelines on effective mediation
and conciliation labor disputes
(2) Preventive mediation and conciliation functions
(3) Coordinate and maintain linkages with other sectors
and institutions and other government authorities
concerned with matters relative to the prevention and
settlement of labor disputes
(4) Formulate policies, plans, programs, standards,
procedures, operations manual and guidelines pertaining to
the promotion of cooperative and non-adversarial schemes,
grievance handling, voluntary arbitration and other
voluntary modes of dispute settlement
(5) Administer the voluntary arbitration program;
maintain/ update a list of voluntary arbitrations and compile
arbitration awards and decisions.
(6) Provide counseling and preventive mediation
assistance particular in the administration of collective
(7) Monitor and exercise technical supervision over BLR
programs implemented in regional offices
(8) Perform other function provided by law or assigned by
the DOLE Secretary
(9) Conducts certification election upon the filing of a
petition by a legitimate labor organization
(10) Can issue writs of execution

(1) All cases which are administrative in character,
involving or arising out of violations of rules and regulations
relating to licensing and registration of recruitment and
employment agencies/ entities
(2) Disciplinary actions against a worker for breach of
discipline, and other causes which are administrative in
character involving employers. Principals, contracting
partners, and Filipino migrant workers

(1) Formulate, implement, and monitor policies and
programs of overseas workers rights to fair and equitable
employment practices
(2) Deployment of Filipino workers through government-
to-government hiring

(1) Upon agreement of the parties
Art. 224 (a) Except as otherwise provided under this
code, the Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive
jurisdiction over.
(a) To hear and decide all unresolved grievances from the
interpretation or implementation of the collective
bargaining agreement
(b) To hear and decide those arising from the
interpretation or enforcement of company personnel
(c) All grievances submitted to the grievance machinery
which are not settled within 7 calendar days from the date
of its submission shall automatically be referred to VA
(d) Upon agreement of the parties, shall hear and decide
all other disputes including unfair labor practices and
bargaining deadlock

(1) Shall have the power to hold hearing, receive
evidences and take whatever action is necessary to resolve
the issue or issues subject of the dispute, including efforts
to effect a voluntary settlement between the parties
(2) Unless the parties agree otherwise, it shall be
mandatory for the voluntary aarbiter/ panel of voluntary
arbiters to render an award/ decision within 20 calendar
days from the date of submission of the dispute to voluntary
(3) Can issue writs of execution


NLRC may sit en banc, circumstances provided.

Sec.2 (b), Rule VII of the 2011 NLRC Rules of

Procedure provides that:
The Commission shall sit En Banc only for purposes of
promulgating rules and regulations governing the hearing
and disposition of cases before its Divisions and Regional
Arbitration Branches, and for the formulation of policies
affecting its administration and operations. It may, on
temporary or emergency basis, allow cases within the
jurisdiction of any Division to be heard by any other Division
whose docket allows the additional workload and such
transfer will not expose litigants to unnecessary additional


Suspension of the effects of employment

termination on valid grounds, justified.

The affectivity of a valid termination based on just or

authorized cause may be suspended in case the terminated
employee files a complaint contesting the legality of his
dismissal. In such case, the Secretary of Labor of the
Philippines may provisionally order a reinstatement in the
event of prima facie finding that the dismissal may cause a
serious labor dispute as in a strike or lock-out, or is in
implementation of mass lay-off. Art. 292 (277) of the Labor


Finding of the NLRC concerning the illegality of

the employees termination the consequence of which
is reinstatement immediately executor, explained.
The decision of the labor arbiter ordering the
reinstatement of a dismissed or separated employee shall be
immediately executor insofar as reinstatement aspect is
concerned and the posting of an appeal bond by the
employer shall not stay execution.
There is no need for a motion for the issuance of writ
of execution on reinstatement order as it is self-executory.


Temporary restraining order be issued by NLRC

ex parte or without hearing, when applicable.

A temporary restraining order, which is effective for a

non-extendible period of twenty (20) calendar days from
service on the private respondent, may be issued by NLRC
ex parte or without hearing when it shall appear from facts
shown by the verified application and affidavits that great
and irreparable damage and/or injury would result to the
petitioner before the petition can be resolved, and the
petitioner is bereft of an adequate remedy at law.

A temporary restraining order may be issued ex parte

under the following conditions:
(1) The complainant shall also allege that, unless a
temporary restraining order shall be issued without notice,
a substantial and irreparable injury to the complainants
property will be unavoidable;
(2) There is testimony under oath, sufficient, if sustained,
to justify the Commission in issuing a temporary injunction
upon hearing after notice;
(3) The complainant shall first file an undertaking with
adequate security in an amount to be fixed by the
Commission sufficient to recompense those issuance of such
order or injunction, including all reasonable costs, together
with a reasonable attorneys fee, and expense of defense
against the order of against the granting of any injunctive
relief sought in the same proceeding and subsequently
denied by the Commission; and
(4) The temporary restraining order shall be effective for
no longer than twenty (20) days and shall become void at
the expiration of said twenty (20) days.


Prohibited pleadings provided for in the NLRC

Rules of Procedure, enumerated.

(1) Motion to dismiss except on the following grounds:

(a) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter,
(b) improper venue,
(c) prescription, and
(d) forum shopping
(2) Motion for a bill of particulars
(3) Motion for new trial
(4) Petition for relief from judgment when filed with the
Labor Arbiter
(5) Petition for certiorari, mandamus or prohibition
(6) Motion to declare defendant in default
(7) Motion for reconsideration or appeal from any
interlocutory order of the Labor Arbiter
Source: 2005 Revised Rules of Procedure of the NLRC

Doctrine of impossibility under the law on
termination, explained.
The doctrine of impossibility is a commonly cited
ground for contract termination. This doctrine holds that a
party may be excused from a contractual obligation under
certain circumstances.

In the case of contract of employment, the excuse of

impossibility of performance (e.g. pre termination prior to
the expiry of the agreed period) is limited to the destruction
of the means of performance by an act of God or by law or if
one party no longer has the means of carrying out the
contract due to some event that the parties could not have
foreseen when making their contract, and the continuation
of such agreement has been rendered impossible.

Period for the decision of the LA be final and
executory or the Commission be enforceable,
A decision or order may be executed upon motion
within five (5) years from the date it becomes final and
executory. After such period, the judgment becomes
dormant and may be executed by independent action before
the Regional Arbitration Branch of origin and within ten
(10) years from the date of finality. (SOURCE: Sec. 2, Rule
XI, 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended)


Remedies and the period wherein of the

aggrieved party in judgment or decisions,


FOR REINSTATEMENT - The decision is appealable to the
NLRC and not to the DOLE Secretary, within five (5)
calendar days from the receipt of a copy of the decision.


decision of the Labor Arbiter is brought by ordinary appeal
to the NLRC within ten (10) calendar days from receipt by
the party of the decision. From the decision of the NLRC,
there is no appeal. The only way to elevate the case to the
Court of Appeals is by way of the special civil action of
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
From the ruling of the Court of the Appeals, it may be
elevated to the Supreme Court by way of ordinary appeal
under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. (St. Martin
Funeral Home vs. NLRC, et al., G. R. No. 130866,
September 16, 1998).


decision of a Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary
Arbitrators is appealable by ordinary appeal under Rule 43
of the Rules of Civil Procedure directly to the Court of
Appeals within 15 days from the receipt of notice of reward
final order or resolution. From the Court of Appeals, the
case may be elevated to the Supreme Court by way of
ordinary appeal under the same Rule 45. (Luzon
Development Bank vs. Association of Luzon Development
Bank Employees, et al., G. R. No. 120319, October 6, 1995).

(4) DECISION OF NLRC: The decision of NLRC, in the

exercise of its appellate jurisdiction from the decision of LA,
shall be final and executory. The only way to elevate the
case to the Court of Appeals is by way of the special civil
action of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Civil
Procedure. They have to file within 60 days from the receipt
of judgment, order or resolution. From the ruling of the
Court of the Appeals, it may be elevated to the Supreme
Court by way of ordinary appeal under Rule 45 of the Rules
of Civil Procedure.

(5) SECRETARY OF LABOR. The aggrieved party is allowed

to file one motion for reconsideration of the decision of the
Secretary of Labor and Employment within ten (10) days
from receipt thereof. The decision of the Secretary of Labor
and Employment shall be final and executory unless
restrained by CA in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65
within 60 days from the notice of judgement, order, or
(6) BLR. If in the exercise of its original and exclusive
jurisdiction, it is appealable to the DOLE Secretary.
If in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, it may be
elevated to Court of Appeals by certiorari under Rule 65.
Period within which to file a certiorari petition is 60 days
from the notice of judgement, order, or resolution.

(7) Med Arbiter in so far as the denial of the petition for

certification is concerned. It is appealable to DOLE
Art.272 (259). Appeal from certification election
orders. Any party to an election may appeal the order or
results of the election as determined by the Med-Arbiter
directly to the Secretary of Labor and Employment on the
ground that the rules and regulations or parts thereof
established by the Secretary of Labor and Employment for
the conduct of the election have been violated. Such appeal
shall be decided within fifteen (15) calendar days. (As
amended by Section 25, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21,
However, under DO No.40-F-03, the order granting the
conduct of certification election in unorganized
establishment is not subject to appeal but subject to protest.
Appeal may be made to the DOLE Secretary in in case of
denial of the petition within 10 days from receipt of the
decision of the denial. On the other hand, the order
granting the conduct of a certification election in an
organized establishment and the decision dismissing or
denying the petition may be appealed to the DOLE
Secretary within 10 days from receipt thereof.

(8) CA. The remedy is to file a Petition for Review

on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The
petition shall be filed within fifteen (15) days from notice of
the judgment or final order or resolution appealed from, or
of the denial of the petitioners motion for new trial or
reconsideration filed in due time after notice of the

Prescriptive period of the following, enumerated.

(1) Money Claims. The prescription period of all money

claims and benefits arising from the EER is 3 years from the
time the cause of action accrued; otherwise they are forever
(2) Illegal Dismissal Cases. The 4 years under Article 1146
of the Civil Code.
(3) ULP. The period for all complaints arising from ULP is
1 year from the time the acts accompanied of were
committed, otherwise it is forever barred
Illegal Recruitment
(4) Simple illegal recruitment. The prescriptive period is 5
(5) Illegal recruitment in cases involving economic
sabotage. 20 years


Percentage requirements of the following,


(1) Registration of labor organization/union - 20% of the

members of the bargaining unit (Art 240 [234], C)
(2) Filing of petition for certification election - 25% of the
members of the bargaining unit. (Art. 268 [256])
(3) Validity of certification election - Majority of eligible
voters. (Art. 268 [256])
(4) Cancellation of union registration - 2/3 of the union
general membership (248 [239-A])


Assumption of jurisdiction by the Labor Arbiter in a

case involving less than 5,000 pesos, justified.
Generally, Labor Arbiter has jurisdiction over the case
if the money claim of the case does not exceed 1 million
pesos but not below 5,000. However, if the case involves
reinstatement, the Labor Arbiter may assume jurisdiction
over the case even if money claim is less than 5,000 pesos.
Any money claims, regardless of amount, accompanied with
a clam of reinstatement falls within the original and
exclusive jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. (Art 224 [217]).


DOLE Regional Director in assuming jurisdiction

over a case involving an amount of more than 5
thousand pesos, justified.

The visitorial and enforcement power of the DOLE

Regional Director to order and enforce compliance with
labor standard laws can be exercised even on cases where
the individual claims exceeds P5, 000.00
(1) Article 128
(a) Speaks of visitorial and enforcement powers of the
DOLE Sec or his duly authorized representatives (the DOLE
Regional Directors)
(b) Nature and subject of the proceedings speaks of the
inspection of establishments and the issuance of orders to
compel compliance with labor standards, wages or orders
and other labor laws and regulations hence presence of EE-
ER relationship is a condition sine qua non
(c) Visitorial and enforcement powers of the DOLE
Regional Director to order and enforce compliance with
labor standards laws can be exercised even when the
individual claim exceeds five (5) thousand.
(d) Appeal to DOLE Secretary
(2) Article 129
(a) Refers to the adjudication power of the Reg. Director
or any authorized hearing officer of DOLE
(b) Power to hear and decide any claim for recovery of
wages, simple(small) money claims or EES or persons
employed in domestic or household service arising from
severed EE-ER relations
(c) Appeal to NLRC
(d) Original jurisdiction over small money claims cases
arising from labor standards violations in the amount NOT
exceeding 5 thousand and NOT accompanied
(e) with a claim of reinstatement


Following doctrine, explained.

(1) Totality of Conduct Doctrine means that expressions or

acts of employer, though innocent in themselves, may be
held to constitute an unfair labor practice because of the
circumstances under which they were uttered or committed,
previous history of employers labor relations or anti-union
bias or because of their connection with an establiushed
collateral plan of coercion or interence.

(2) By-Stander Rule means that in a petition for

certification election by a legitimate labor organization, the
company has no other function but to act as a by-stander
interested in the peaceful and orderly conduct of the
certification election. The employer has no legal standing in
a certification election as it cannot oppose the petition or
appeal the orders related thereto.

(3) Yellow-Dog Contract is a form of unfair labor practice

committed by the employer wherein as a condition of
employment, a person should not join a labor organization
or shall withdraw therefrom.

(4) Confidential Employee Rule means that a confidential

employee who has access to management policies relating
to labor relations is not allowed to assist, form or join a
rank-and-file union or supervisory union. The prohibition is
set by law because to allow him to join a union would give
rise to a potential conflict of interest.

(5) FEATHERBEDDING - name given to employee

practices which create or spread employment by
unnecessarily maintaining or increasing the number of
employees used, or the amount of time consumed, to work
on a particular job.

(6) Blue Sky bargaining - an unrealistic and unreasonable

demands in negotiations by either or both labor and
management, where neither concedes anything and demand
the impossible. It actually is not collective bargaining at all.

(7) Surface bargaining - an employers proposal which

could not be offered with any reasonable expectation that
they would be accepted by the union . It is going through
the motions of negotiating without any legal intent to reach
an agreement.

(8) Individual bargaining- the process by which an

employer and an employee negotiate an individual contract
of employment, regulating the terms and conditions of

(9) Collective bargaining- It is the negotiations towards a

collective agreement designed to stabilize the relation
between labor and management and to create a climate of
sound and stable industrial peace. It is a mutual
responsibility of the employer and the Union and is
characterized as a legal obligation. So much so that Article
249, par. (g) of the Labor Code makes it an unfair labor
practice for an employer to refuse to meet and convene
promptly and expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of
negotiating an agreement with respect to wages, hours of
work, and all other terms and conditions of employment
including proposals for adjusting any grievance or question
arising under such an agreement and executing a contract
incorporating such agreement, if requested by either party.
(10) While it is a mutual obligation of the parties to bargain,
the employer, however, is not under any legal duty to
initiate contract negotiation. The mechanics of collective
bargaining is set in motion only when the following
jurisdictional preconditions are present, namely, (1)
possession of the status of majority representation of the
employees representative in accordance with any of the
means of selection or designation provided for by the Labor
Code; (2) proof of majority representation; and (3) a
demand to bargain ,all of which preconditions are
undisputedly present in the instant case.

(11) Boulwarism- It is a labor law principle accepted for

negotiating between employer and the employee. This
principle is used as a method of bargaining tactic in which
the employer researches the probable outcome of collective
bargaining, and the information is used to make a firm
settlement offer to union on a take it or leave it basis. It is a
type of offer or counter offer that is not meant to be
negotiated. The outcome of this method is that there will
not be a real negotiation. Hence, this method of negotiation
is considered as an unfair labor practice by the National
Labor Relations Board.

(12) Kiok Loy Doctrine-This doctrine is based on the

ruling InKiok Loy v. NLRC, where the petitioner, Sweden Ice
Cream Plant, refused to submit any counter-proposal to the
CBA proposed by its employees certified bargaining agent.
The High Court ruled that the employer had thereby lost its
right to bargain the terms and conditions of the CBA. Thus,
the CBA proposed by the union was imposed lock, stock and
barrel on the erring company.

(13) The Kiok Loy case epitomizes the classic case of

negotiating a CBA in bad faith consisting of the employers
refusal to bargain with the collective bargaining agent by
ignoring all notices for negotiations and requests for
counter-proposals. Such refusal to send a counter-proposal
to the union and to bargain on the economic terms of the
CBA constitutes an unfair labor practice under Article
248(g) of the Labor Code.


Period of acquisition of legal personality,


A labor organization acquires legal personality upon

the issuance of the Certificate of Registration by the DOLE.
Article 240. Requirements of Registration.A federation,
national union or industry or trade union center or an
independent union shall acquire legal personality and shall
be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law to
legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the
certificate of registration based on the ff requirements:
(1) Fifty pesos (P50.00) registration fee;
(2) The names of its officers, their addresses, the principal
address of the labor organization, the minutes of the labor
organizational meetings and the list of the workers who
participated in such meetings;
(3) In case the applicant is an independent union, the
names of all ots members comprising at least twenty
percent (20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit
where to seeks to operate;
(4) If the applicant union has been in existence for one or
more years, copies of its annual financial reports; and
(5) Four copies of the constitution and by-laws of the
application union, minutes of its adoption or ratification,
and the list of the members who participated in it.