Dismissal Requires Observance of Due Process and Applies Even to Those Who Have Limited Security of TenureAtty Elvin
Dismissal is a crucial decision that affects both the employer and the employee. On the part of the latter, it impacts on his livelihood. Hence, procedural due process is required to be observed to prepare the individual on the eventual separation.
The requirement of due process is not limited to regular employees. It also applies to all forms of employment that are not permanent in nature such as seasonal, project, casual, etc.
Seasonal employees unlike the regular workers do not enjoy permanent status in the company. However, they enjoy limited security of tenure in a sense that they cannot be dismissed prior to the end of the season for which they were engaged.
The post below is based on the book Guide to Valid Dismissal of Employees Second Edition (pp. 58-59).
Hence, even dismissal of probationary employees requires observance of due process. Probationary workers cannot be dismissed except for failure to qualify, just cause or authorized cause. In any of these cases, procedural due process required should likewise be observed to avoid payment of indemnity.
Thus, if the cause for dismissal is due to the failure to meet the standards of the employer, the probationary employee should be served a written notice within a reasonable time from the effective date of termination.
As mentioned in preceding discussions, security of tenure is not exclusive to regular employees. Other forms of employment accord security of tenure to the workers. Project employees, generally, cannot be dismissed, prior to the completion of the project or a phase thereof. Fixed-term employee cannot be terminated prior to the end of the term stipulated by the parties.
In the above situations, can the employer validly argue that since consultation or conference was conducted the lack of procedural compliance is cured?
In the case of Pepsi-cola Bottling Co., et al. vs. NLRC, et al. (G.R. No. 101900, June 23, 1992), the Supreme Court ruled in the negative. According to the court, the consultations or conferences are not a substitute for the actual observance of notice and hearing.