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A. Discipline

1. CONCEPT

Management prerogative – is the inherent right of the employer, to regulate, according to his own discretion and judgment, all aspects of employment, including hiring, work assignments, working methods, the time, place and manner of work, work supervision, transfer of employees, lay-off of workers, and discipline, dismissal, and recall of employees. (Peckson v. Robinsons Supermarket Corporation, G.R. No. 198534, 03 July 2013)

2. LIMITATIONS

The exercise of management prerogative, however, is not absolute as it must be exercised in good faith and with due regard to the rights of labor. (Julie’s Bakeshop v. Arnaiz, G.R. No. 173882, 15 February 2012)

The only limitations to the exercise of this prerogative are those imposed by labor laws and the principles of equity and substantial justice. (Peckson v. Robinsons Supermarket Corporation, supra.)

3. BUSINESS JUDGMENT RULE / NON-INTERFERENCE BY COURTS

In light of management prerogative, courts often decline to interfere in legitimate business decisions of employers. (Ibid.)

In fact, labor laws discourage interference in employers’ judgment concerning the conduct of their business. (Ibid.)

A. Discipline

1. CONCEPT

In general, management has the prerogative to discipline its employees and to impose appropriate penalties on erring workers pursuant to company rules and regulations. (Deles v. NLRC, First Phil. Industrial Corp., G.R. No. 121348, 09 March 2000)

The right of an employer to regulate all aspects of employment, aptly called “management prerogative,” gives employers the freedom to regulate, according to their discretion and best judgment, all aspects of employment, including the discipline of workers. (St. Luke’s Medical Center, Inc. v. Sanchez, G.R. No. 212054, 11 March 2015)

2. LIMITATIONS

a. Commensurateness of penalty

The penalty must be commensurate to the offense. (Dongon v. Rapid Movers and Forwarders Co., Inc., G.R. No. 163431, 28 August 2013)

Penalties must be commensurate to the offense involved and to the degree of the infraction. (Cavite Apparel, Incorporated v. Marquez, G.R. No. 172044, 06 February 2013)

Even if a just cause exists, the employer still has the discretion whether to dismiss the employee, impose a lighter penalty, or condone the offense committed. (Maula v. Ximex Delivery Express, Inc., G.R. No. 207838, 25 January 2017)

Not every case of insubordination or willful disobedience by an employee reasonably deserves the penalty of dismissal because the penalty to be imposed on an erring employee must be commensurate with the gravity of his or her offense. (Ibid.)

b. Exercised humanely and considerately

The right to discipline should be exercised humanely and considerately. (Dongon v. Rapid Movers and Forwarders Co., Inc., supra.)

The prerogative should be exercised in good faith and for the advancement for the employer’s interest. (Maula v. Ximex Delivery Express, Inc., G.R. No. 207838, 25 January 2017)

Dongon v. Rapid Movers and Forwarders Co., Inc.

An employee was dismissed for having lent his ID to a co-employee so they can both do their work at the premises of their Company’s client.

Although we recognize the inherent right of the employer to discipline its employees, we should still ensure that the employer exercises the prerogative to discipline humanely and considerately, and that the sanction imposed is commensurate to the offense involved and to the degree of the infraction. The discipline exacted by the employer should further consider the employee’s length of service and the number of infractions during his employment The employer should never forget that always at stake in disciplining its employee are not only his position but also his livelihood, and that he may also have a family entirely dependent on his earnings. /end

Next B. Transfer of employees
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