(Question I, Labor Law, 2018 Bar Exam)
Narciso filed a complaint against Norte University for the payment of retirement benefits after having been a part-time professional lecturer in the same school since 1974. Narciso taught for two semesters and a summer term for the school year 1974-1975, took a leave of absence from 1975 to 1977, and resumed teaching until 2003. Since then, his contract has been renewed at the start of every semester and summer, until November 2005 when he was told that he could no longer teach because he was already 75 years old. Norte University also denied Narciso’s claim for retirement benefits stating that only full-time permanent faculty, who have served for at least five years immediately preceding the termination of their employment, can avail themselves of post-employment benefits. As part-time faculty member, Narciso did not acquire permanent employment status under the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, in relation to the Labor Code, regardless of his length of service.
(a) Is Narciso entitled to retirement benefits? (2.5%)
(b) If he is entitled to retirement benefits, how should retirement pay be computed in the absence of any contract between him and Norte University providing for such benefits? (2.5%)
Under the Labor Code, any employee may be retired upon reaching the retirement age and after having rendered at least five (5) years of service. Under labor law jurisprudence, the term “any employee” has been defined to include part-time employees.
In the case at bar, Narciso was a part-time faculty member. He reached the retirement age and rendered at least five years of service. This qualified him for retirement.
Thus, Narciso is entitled to retirement benefits.
(b)The retirement pay should be computed as follows:
Minimum Retirement Pay = Daily Rate x 22.5 days x number of years in service
Unless the parties provide for broader inclusions, the term one-half (1/2) month salary shall mean fifteen (15) days plus one-twelfth (1/12) of the 13th month pay and the cash equivalent of not more than five (5) days of service incentive leaves.
The term “one-half month salary” is equivalent to 22.5 days, as it consists of the following:
1. Fifteen (15) days salary based on the latest salary rate;
2. Cash equivalent of five (5) days of service incentive leave;
3. One-twelfth (1/12) of the thirteenth-month pay.
(1/12 x 365/12 = .083 x 30.41 = 2.5)
A fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year.
(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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