Question 14, 2018 Labor Law Bar Exam

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor

XIV.

(Question XIV, Labor Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

Nelson complained before the DOLE Regional Office about Needy Corporation’s failure to pay his wage increase amounting to PhPS,000.00 as mandated in a Wage Order issued by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board. Consequently, Nelson asked the DOLE to immediately issue an Order sustaining his money claim. To his surprise, he received a notice from the DOLE to appear before the Regional Director for purposes of conciliating the dispute between him and Needy Corporation. When conciliation before the Regional Director failed, the latter proceeded to direct both parties to submit their respective position papers in relation to the dispute. Needy Corporation argued, that since Nelson was willing to settle for 75% of his money claim during conciliation proceedings, only a maximum of 75% of the said money claim may be awarded to him.

(a) Was DOLE’s action to conduct mandatory conciliation in light of Nelson’s complaint valid? (2.5%)

(b) Should the Regional Director sustain Needy Corporation’s argument? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Yes. Answer

Under the Labor Code, all issues arising from labor and employment shall be subject to mandatory conciliation-mediation. Rule

In the case at bar, Nelson’s complaint is a labor dispute arising from employer-employee relationship. It was thus subject to mandatory conciliation-mediation. Apply

Thus, DOLE’s action to conduct mandatory conciliation in light of Nelson’s complaint is valid. Conclusion

(b) No. Answer

Under the Labor Code, information and statements made at conciliation proceedings shall be treated as privileged communication and shall not be used as evidence in the proceedings. Rule

In the case at bar, Needy Corporation cannot use any information and statement made by Nelson during the conciliation proceeding as it is privileged and cannot be used in the proceedings. That Nelson may have communicated his willingness to settle for 75% of his money claim is and should not be binding on the resolution of the case. Apply

Thus, the Regional Director should not sustain Needy Corporation’s argument. 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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