Question 19, 2018 Labor Law Bar Exam

XIX.

(Question XIX, Labor Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

Northeast Airlines sent notices of transfer, without diminution in salary or rank, to 50 ground crew personnel who were front-liners at Northeast Airlines counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The 50 employees were informed that they would be distributed to various airports in Mindanao to anticipate robust passenger volume growth in the area. North Union, representing rank-and-file employees, filed unfair labor practice and illegal dismissal cases before the NLRC, citing, among others, the inconvenience of the 50 concerned employees and union discrimination, as 8 of the 50 concerned ground crew personnel were union officers. Also, the Union argued that Northeast Airlines could easily hire additional employees from Mindanao to boost its ground operations in the Mindanao airports.

a) Will the transfer of the 50 ground crew personnel amount to illegal dismissal? (2.5%)

b) Will the unfair labor practice case prosper? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) No. Answer

Under labor law jurisprudence, the employer has management prerogative to regulate all aspects of employment, which includes the right to transfer employees. The two limitations of management prerogative are: (a) that it must be exercised in good faith; and (b) that it must be with due regard to the rights of the employees. Rule

In the case at bar, the Company validly exercised its management prerogative to transfer the 50 employees for legitimate business reason, which was in anticipation of robust passenger volume growth in Mindanao. Further, there was no diminution in salary or rank for the employees to be transferred. Hence, the transfer was exercised in good faith and with due regard to the rights of the employees. Apply

Thus, the transfer of the 50 ground crew personnel will not amount to illegal dismissal. Conclusion

(b) No. Answer

Under the Labor Code, unfair labor practice refers to acts that violate the workers’ right to organize. In labor law jurisprudence, the employer has management prerogative to regulate all aspects of employment, which includes the right to transfer employees. Rule

In the case at bar, the Company validly exercised its management prerogative to transfer the 50 employees for legitimate business reason, which was in anticipation of robust passenger volume growth in Mindanao. This did not constitute or amount to a violation of the workers’ right to organize. Apply

Thus, the unfair labor practice case will not prosper. 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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