Administrative Hearing or Conference for Dishonesty involving a Project Engineer; Sample Notice of Administrative HearingAtty Elvin
Administrative hearing is one of the procedural requirements for employee dismissal. The concept of procedural due process as a statutory requirement is provided under Art. 301 of the re-numbered Labor Code [formerly Art. 286].
As opposed to substantive, procedural due process refers to the procedure involved in the dismissal of an employee. Notices and hearing or conference belong to this aspect. Procedural due process requires further that an employee can only be dismissed after he has been given an opportunity to be heard. (page 53, Guide to Valid Dismissal of Employees, 2nd Edition by Atty. Villanueva, citing Maneja vs. NLRC and Manila Midtown Hotel, G.R. 124013, June 5, 1998.)
The hearing requirement does not have to be formal type proceeding. This is not the same as a hearing in regular court procedure where there is an examination of witnesses who are made to sit at the witness stand. The administrative hearing follows the serving of the Notice to Explain or NTE.
After serving the first notice, the employers should schedule and conduct a hearing or conference wherein the employees will be given the opportunity to: (a) explain and clarify their defenses to the charge against them; (b) present evidence in support of their defenses; and (c) rebut the evidence presented against them by the management. During the hearing or conference, the employees are given the chance to defend themselves personally, with the assistance of a representative or counsel of their choice. Moreover, this conference or hearing could be used by the parties as an opportunity to come to an amicable settlement. (King of Kings Transport, Inc. vs. Mamac, 553 Phil. 108 (2007))
In the previous post, a fictional Project Engineer was involved in dishonesty where he included in the payroll report for payment several employees who did not actually report for work. Thus, an NTE was issued on him. See the sample NTE here involving the fictional Project Engineer.
Interestingly, in the case of Perez vs. PT&T (G.R. NO. 152048 : April 7, 2009]), the Supreme Court held that in there is no violation of due process even if no hearing was conducted, where the party was given a chance to explain his side of the controversy. What is frowned upon is the denial of the opportunity to be heard.
Thus, only if the conduct of administrative hearing is provided in the company code that it should be conducted. Otherwise, the company is not in violation of the rule. Unless, the employee requests in writing for such administrative hearing.
This post is a continuation of such sample case just to illustrate how the NTE, Administrative Conference, and later on Notice of Dismissal or Disciplinary Action come into play. This time, a Notice of Administrative Conference shall be issued.
Below is the sample Notice of Administrative Conference:
To: MADO GATO
Subject: NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE
This has reference to the charge against you for dishonesty involving inclusion in the payroll record for request for payment the names of Juan Dela Cruz, Pedro Santos, and Jose Reyes covering the payroll period November 1-15, 2019.
In moving forward with the due process requirements in this case, you are hereby being invited to a hearing/conference to be held on December 15, 20____, at the Antaaz Building, Zementhadong Street, Makati City, at 9:00 o’ clock in the morning.
You may bring with you your counsel or support person if you desire. Please be informed that the company rules on the conduct of this proceeding shall be in effect and shall apply accordingly.
Failure on your part to attend the proceeding shall be deemed as waiver of your right to due process.
For your strict compliance.
AYA O. ZAMADIA