(Question XX, Labor Law, 2018 Bar Exam)
In Northern Lights Corporation, union members Nad, Ned, and Nod sought permission from the company to distribute flyers with respect to a weekend union activity. The company HR manager granted the request through a text message sent to another union member, Norlyn.
While Nad, Ned, and Nod were distributing the flyers at the company assembly plant, a company supervisor barged in and demanded that they cease from distributing the flyers, stating that the assembly line employees were trying to beat a production deadline and were thoroughly distracted. Norlyn tried to show the HR manager’s text message authorizing flyer distribution during work hours, but the supervisor brushed it aside.
As a result, Nad, Ned, and Nod were suspended for violating company rules on trespass and highly-limited union activities during work hours. The Union filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) case before the NLRC for union discrimination.
a) Will the ULP case filed by the Union prosper? (2.5%)
b) Assume the NLRC ruled in favor of the Union. The Labor Arbiter’s judgment included, among others, an award for moral and exemplary damages at PhP50,000.00 each for Nad, Ned, and Nod. should Northern be Lights given to Corporation the Union, and argued not that individually any award to its of members. Is Northern Lights Corporation correct? (2.5%)
(a) No. Answer
Under the Labor Code, unfair labor practice refers to acts that violate the workers’ right to organize, such as to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization. Rule
In the case at bar, the distribution of the flyers was being done during work hours, the assembly line employees were trying to beat a production deadline, and they were thoroughly distracted. The Company supervisor had thus legitimate reasons for stopping the distribution of flyers as it was not the proper time to do so. The said supervisor was not stopping the workers right to self-organize that would constitute unfair labor practice. Apply
Thus, the ULP case filed by the Union will not prosper. Conclusion
(b) No. Answer
Under labor law jurisprudence, when due, moral and exemplary damages are awarded to employees, who were the receiving end of the unlawful acts of the employer. The union simply represents the employees in the labor case. Rule
In the case at bar, Nad, Ned, and Nod, were the ones suspended by the employer. As a consequence of this unlawful act by the employer, it was penalized and made to pay moral damages and exemplary damages to the ones who were affected, which were the suspended employees, and not the union. Apply
Thus, Northern Lights Corporation is not correct. 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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