C. National Labor Relations Commission

Frequency: ★★★★☆

1. JURISDICTION

NLRC’s Exclusive and Original Jurisdiction:
1) Certified cases for compulsory arbitration – in relation to DOLE Secretary’s assumption of jurisdiction (Article 278 [263] (g), Labor Code);
2) Extraordinary remedies via a verified petition to annul or modify the order or resolution of the Labor Arbiter (Section 1, Rule XII, 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended);
3) Petition for Injunction in labor cases (Article 225 [218] (e), Labor Code);
4) Contempt cases. (Article 225 [218] (d), Ibid.)

2. EXCLUSIVE APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF THE NLRC

1) Cases on monetary claims resolved/decided by the DOLE Regional Director, except those arising from the visitorial and enforcement powers of the DOLE Secretary (Article 129, Ibid.)

2) Cases decided by the Labor Arbiter (Section 1, Rule V, 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended)

3) 3rd party claim – a third party may file a third-party claim with the sheriff of the Labor Arbiter, and if the third-party claim is denied, the third party may appeal the denial to the NLRC. (Yupangco Cotton Mills, Inc v. Mendoza, G.R. No. 139912, 31 March 2005)

3. EFFECTS OF PERFECTING AN APPEAL W/ THE NLRC

Without prejudice to immediate reinstatement pending appeal, once an appeal is filed, the Labor Arbiter loses jurisdiction over the case. All pleadings and motions pertaining to the appealed case shall thereafter be addressed to and filed with the NLRC. (Section 9, Rule VI, 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended)

The perfection of an appeal stays the execution of the decision of the Labor Arbiter, except execution for reinstatement pending appeal. (Section 3, Rule XI, Ibid.)

4. TECHNICAL RULES OF PROCEDURE NOT BINDING

The rules of procedure and evidence prevailing in courts of law and equity shall not be controlling and the NLRC shall use every and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively, without regard to technicalities of law or procedure, all in the interest of due process. (Section 10, Rule VII, Ibid.)

5. FINAL AND EXECUTORY IN 10 DAYS

The decisions, resolutions or orders of the Commission shall become final and executory after ten (10) calendar days from receipt thereof by the counsel or authorized representative or the parties if not assisted by counsel or representative. (Section 14, Rule VII, Ibid.)

•••••

BAR EXAM QUESTION

(Question III, Labor Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

Due to his employer’s dire financial situation, Nicanor was prevailed upon by his employer to voluntarily resign. In exchange, he demanded payment of salary differentials, 13th month pay, and financial assistance, as promised by his employer. Management promised to pay him as soon as it is able to pay off all retrenched rank-and-file employees. Five years later, and before management was able to pay Nicanor the amount promised to him, Nicanor died of a heart attach. His widow, Norie, filed a money claim against the company before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), including interest on the amount of the unpaid claim. She also claimed additional damages arguing that the supposed resignation letter was obtained from her spouse through undue pressure and influence. The employer filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that (A) the NLRC did not have jurisdiction over money claims, and (B) the action has prescribed.

(a) Does the NLRC have jurisdiction to award money claims including interest on the amount unpaid? (2.5%)

x x x

(c) May Nicanor’s spouse successfully claim additional damages as a result of the alleged undue pressure and influence? (2.5%)

SUGGGESTED ANSWER:

(a) Yes. Answer

Under the Labor Code, and the 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, the NLRC through the Labor Arbiter, has the jurisdiction over monetary claims arising out of employer-employee relationship, as well as claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages arising from employer-employee relations. Rule

In the case at bar, Norie, as the widow and heir of Nicanor, is seeking to claim money claims, including interest on the amount of the unpaid claim, as well as additional damages. Apply

Thus, the NLRC has jurisdiction to award money claims including interest on the amount unpaid. Conclusion

(c) No. Answer

Under labor law jurisprudence, the employee has the burden of proof to prove the fact of dismissal first before the burden is shifted to the employer in an illegal dismissal case. Thereafter, after a finding of illegal dismissal, moral damages are recoverable where the dismissal of the employee was attended by bad faith or fraud or constituted an act oppressive to labor, or was done in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy. On the other hand, exemplary damages are proper when the dismissal was effected in a wanton, oppressive or malevolent manner, and public policy requires that these acts must be suppressed and discouraged. Rule

In the case at bar, Nicanor’s spouse has to prove first the fact of dismissal before she can successfully claim additional damages, such as moral and exemplary damages. Unfortunately, such fact is personal and can only be attested to and affirmed by none other than the Nicanor as it is a state of mind. He alone can testify whether he indeed was subjected to undue pressure and influence. Apply

Thus, Nicanor’s wife is unlikely to be successful in claiming additional damages. Conclusion

•••••

Disclaimer: All information herein is for educational and general information only intended for those preparing for the bar exam. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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