Burden of Proof in Termination Due to Authorized Cause

Burden of Proof in Termination Due to Authorized Cause

The authorized causes under Article 298 are as follows:

  1. Installation of labor-saving devices;
  2. Redundancy;
  3. Retrenchment; and
  4. Closure or cessation of business operations of an establishment or an undertaking.

It appears that the enumeration is exclusive. Meaning, there can be no other grounds that can be invoked other than those stated. This is so because the precursor of Article 298, Article 299, previously carried a comprehensive phrase “other similar causes” which was repeated twice in the old provision.

While in the new provision as presently worded, such phrase cannot be found.

The burden is on the employer to prove that the termination was after due process, and for a valid or authorized cause. The burden clearly falls upon the

employer to prove economic or business losses with appropriate supporting evidence.

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The determination of whether an employer has sufficiently and successfully discharged this burden of proof is essentially a question of fact for the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC to determine.

In the case of AMA Computer College, Inc. vs. Garcia, the employer cannot offer memoranda evidencing that employees are remissed in their performance, tardiness and absenteeism to prove redundancy. The memoranda are irrelevant to prove redundancy of the positions held by employees.

Redundancy arises because there is no more need for the employee’s position in relation to the whole business organization, and not because the employee unsatisfactorily performed the duties and responsibilities required by his position.

Redundancy is an authorized cause for termination of employment under Article 298 of the Labor Code, while serious misconduct or willful disobedience or gross and habitual neglect of duties by the employee is a just cause for dismissal under Article 299 of the Code.

A convenient reliance on previous misdemeanors of employees as an additional ground for easing them on the ground of retrenchment is not proper.

Learn how to Validly Terminate Employee in the Philippines with this Tutorial Video of Atty. Elvin

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Twin Requirements of Notice and Hearing

Procedural Due Process for Other Types of Employment

Notice to Explain: Contents and Requirements

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