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Question A13

XIII.

(Question XIII, Labor Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

Nicodemus was employed as a computer programmer by Network Corporation, a telecommunications firm. He has been coming to work in shorts and sneakers, in violation of the “prescribed uniform policy” based on company rules and regulations. The company human resources manager wrote him a letter, giving him 10 days to comply with the company uniform policy. Nicodemus asserted that wearing shorts and sneakers made him more productive, and cited his above-average output. When he came to work still in violation of the uniform policy, the company sent him a letter of termination of employment. Nicodemus filed an illegal dismissal case. The Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of Nicodemus and ordered his reinstatement with backwages. Network Corporation, however, refused to reinstate him. The NLRC 1st Division sustained the Labor Arbiter’s judgment. Network Corporation still refused to reinstate Nicodemus. Eventually, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the NLRC and ruled that the dismissal was valid. Despite the reversal, Nicodemus still filed. a motion for execution with respect to his accrued backwages.

(a) Were there valid legal grounds to dismiss Nicodemus from his employment? (2.5%)

(b) Should Nicodemus’ motion for execution be granted? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Yes. Answer

Under the Labor Code, serious misconduct and willful disobedience of a lawful order of the employer are just causes for terminating the employment of an employee. Rule

In the case at bar, Nicodemus coming to work in shorts and sneakers in in violation of the prescribed uniform policy based on company rules and regulations, constitute willful disobedience of a lawful order of the employer. After being issued a memo reminder, he continued to commit the violation showing his disregard for the authority of the human resources manager, and thus constituting serious misconduct. Apply

Thus, there were valid legal grounds to dismiss Nicodemus from his employment. Conclusion

(b) Yes. Answer

Under Labor Code, the Labor Arbiter’s order of reinstatement is immediately executory. The employer may choose actual reinstatement or payroll reinstatement in case of and pending appeal. Whichever the employer chooses, the employee is entitled to his compensation from the time of the order of reinstatement by the Labor Arbiter, until reversal by an appellate court. Rule

In the case at bar, the Labor Arbiter ordered the reinstatement of Nicodemus. This was immediately executory. Nicodemus became entitled to his compensation whether the employer chose actual reinstatement or payroll reinstatement. That the order of reinstatement would eventually be reversed by the Court of Appeals does not invalidate the employer’s obligation to pay the compensation during the period when reinstatement was ordered. Apply

Thus, Nicodemus’ motion for execution should be granted. Conclusion

..

(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)

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