Hazards of Terminating an Employee

Hazards of Terminating an Employee

As a general rule, the employer has the right to dismiss the services of an erring employee.

In legal parlance, it is called management prerogative. But this right has limitations. It must not be exercised in bad faith and with abuse of discretion.

The exercise of management prerogative is subject to the limitations imposed by law or by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), employment contract, employer policy or practice and general principles of fair play and justice.

Thus, pursuant to limitations, there must be just or authorized cause for dismissal. With that, the employer can validly dismiss a worker only if there is an omission or commission of an offense (theft, gross negligence, among others), or terminate him due to redundancy, retrenchment or closure of establishment, etc. In short, dismissal cannot be done for some arbitrary, whimsical and malicious reasons.

Second, the employee must be heard. He must be given notices and a chance to explain his side. He must at least be accorded ample opportunity to a hearing/conference. He must be informed of his right to attend the hearing together with his representative or lawyer, if he so desires.

Failure to observe the guidelines laid down by the Labor Code and jurisprudence in the dismissal of employee could result in a costly litigation on the part of the employer.

As it is, filing of labor case does not require payment of docket or filing fee unlike in civil cases. (Guide to Valid Dismissal of Employees, page 5)

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