Dear Atty. Duran-Schulze,
I am working in a call center and incurred a violation for zero tolerance behavior, and I ended up being suspended. Now I am in threat of termination. I need legal advice.
While an employer enjoys a wild latitude of discretion in the promulgation of policies, rules and regulations on work-related activities, such must be fair and reasonable, and the corresponding penalties, when prescribed, must be commensurate to the offense involved and to the degree of infraction. (Moreno v. San Sebastian College-Recoletos, (2008))
The Labor Code of the Philippines listed just causes as grounds for termination or employment of an employee. Under the law, it is called just because the termination of employment is justified due to an employee’s actions, behavior, or omission, either of which resulted in a serious or grave violation of the law, employment contract, company policies, collective bargaining agreement, and any other employment agreement.
In these situations, and in the exercise of its management prerogative, the employer is justified in imposing the penalty of dismissal on the erring employee. Remember however that, the process of termination is with due process, meaning, the employee needs to be notified of the reason for his/her dismissal and to be provided the opportunity to defend him/herself.
If and in case you feel that you are aggrieved, you may seek assistance from NLRC’s SENA. In this case, the SENA will invite the employer and you to meet to thresh out your differences.