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The Labor Code provides that the burden of proving that the termination of an
employee was for a just or authorized cause lies with the employer. If the
employer fails to meet this burden, the conclusion would be that the dismissal was
unjustified and, therefore, illegal.1

1. The Supreme Court in a number of cases has ruled on the matter as follows:

Saberola vs Suarez and Lirasan, Jr.2

“As to respondents’ monetary claims, we uphold the findings of the NLRC.
As employer, the petitioner has the burden of proving that the rate of pay given to
the respondents is in accordance with the minimum fixed by the law and that he
paid thirteenth month pay, service incentive leave pay and other monetary claims.

We have consistently held that as a rule, one who pleads payment has the
burden of proving it. Even when the plaintiff alleges non-payment, still the general
rule is that the burden rests on the defendant to prove payment, rather than on the
plaintiff to prove non-payment. The debtor has the burden of showing with legal
certainty that the obligation has been discharged by payment. When the existence
of a debt is fully established by the evidence contained in the record, the burden
of proving that it has been extinguished by payment devolves upon the debtor who
invokes such a defense against the claim of the creditor. When the debtor
introduces some evidence of payment, the burden of going forward with the
evidence — as distinct from the general burden of proof — shifts to the creditor,
who is then under a duty of producing some evidence to show non-payment.

In the instant case, the burden of proving payment of the monetary claims
rests on petitioner, being the employer of respondents. This is because the
pertinent personnel files, payrolls, records, remittances and other similar
documents that would show that the claims have been paid are not in the
possession of the worker but in the custody and absolute control of the employer.
Sadly, the petitioner failed to do so.”

G & M (Phil.), Inc. vs. Batomalaque3

“Well-settled is the rule that in cases of non-payment and underpayment of

salaries and wages, the employer has the burden of proof to show that the
worker/employee has been paid all his salaries and wages since it has in its
possession the proof of payment such as payrolls and/or vouchers (Sambalonay
vs. Jose Cuevas, NLRC No. RB IV – 186447, February 13, 1980) and in the
absence of proof to the contrary, it is deemed that no payment has been made.”

ALPS Transportation and/or Alfredo E. Perez vs. Elpidio M. Rodriguez. G.R. No. 186732. June 13, 2013.
G.R. No. 151227 July 14, 2008.
G. R. No. 151849 June 23, 2005.