B. Construction in favor of labor

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor

Frequency: ★★★★★

1. Construction in favor of labor

a. Civil Code

In case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer. (Article 1702, Civil Code)

BAR EXAM TIPS
1) In essay questions, if the rule could be equally applied to both employer and employee, resolve in favor of the employee.
2) Article 1702 also applies to employment contracts, CBA, and other employment agreements.

b. Labor Code

All doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of this Code, including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved in favor of labor. (Article 4, Labor Code)

c. Jurisprudence: equipoise rule

When the evidence in labor cases is in equipoise, doubt is resolved in favor of the employee. (Hubilla v. HSY Marketing Ltd., Co., G.R. No. 207354, 10 January 2018)

BAR EXAM QUESTION
(Question II, Labor Law, 2017 Bar Exam)
Procopio was dismissed from employment for stealing his co-employee Raul’s watch. Procopio filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. The Labor Arbiter ruled in Procopio’s favor on the ground that Raul’s testimony was doubtful, and, therefore, the doubt should be resolved in favor of Procopio. On appeal, the NLRC reversed the ruling because Article 4 [now Article 5] of the Labor Code – which states that all doubts in the interpretation and implementation of the provisions of the Labor Code, including the implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved in favor of labor – applied only when the doubt involved the “implementation and interpretation” of the Labor Code; hence, the doubt, which involved the application of the rules on evidence, not the Labor Code, could not necessarily be resolved in favor of Procopio. Was the reversal correct? Explain your answer. (3%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No. Answer
Under the Labor Code, Article 4 provides that all doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of the Code, including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved in favor of labor. Rule
Further, under both the Labor Code and the 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, technical rules of procedure and evidence in courts are not binding on labor cases before the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC. Rule
Applying the foregoing, Article 4 of the Labor Code covers doubts involving evidence in a labor case as technical rules of procedure are not binding. The provision is thus not limited to the implementation and interpretation of the Labor Code. Apply
Thus, the NLRC incorrectly reversed the Labor Arbiter. Conclusion

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Subjects

Political Law, Labor Law

B. Construction in favor of labor

Frequency: ★★★★★ 1. Construction in favor of labor a. Civil Code In case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed

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