Eugenia Credo, Chief of Property and Records of NATIONAL SERVICE CORPORATION (NASECO) filed a complaint before the Arbitration Branch of the Ministry of Labor after having been placed in forced leave without due process. Said forced leave was a product of her alleged non-compliance of a memorandum coming from a Finance Manager, and other past acts of misconduct as found by NASECO’s committee on Personnel Affairs.
In the Manager’s office, Credo was made to explain her side in connection with the conducts for which she is complained of. But because she failed to explain, she was handed a Notice of Termination. Credo thus filed a supplemental complaint for illegal dismissal and lack of opportunity to be heard.
ISSUE: Was there an illegal dismissal?
These guidelines mandate that the employer furnish an employee sought to be dismissed two (2) written notices of dismissal before a termination of employment can be legally effected. These are the:
(1) notice which apprises the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought and
(2) the subsequent notice which informs the employee of the employer’s decision to dismiss him.
The dictates of procedural due process requires that decision to dismiss can only be handed after employer has afforded employee concerned ample opportunity to be heard and defend himself. In the case at bar, the compliance with the injunction to apprise her of the charges filed against her and to afford her a chance to prepare her defense was dispensed in only a day. This is not effective compliance with the legal requirements.
 As guidelines for employers in the exercise of their power to dismiss employees for just causes, the law provides that:
“Section 2. Notice of dismissal. Any employer who seeks to dismiss a worker shall furnish him a written notice stating the particular acts or omission constituting the grounds for his dismissal . . .
“Section 5. Answer and Hearing. The worker may answer the allegations stated against him in the notice of dismissal within a reasonable period from receipt of such notice. The employer shall afford the worker ample opportunity to be heard and to defend himself with the assistance of his representative, if he so desires.
“Section 6. Decision to dismiss. The employer shall immediately notify a worker in writing of a decision to dismiss him stating clearly the reasons therefor.”
Terrence Anton T. Callao