The House of Representatives approved a bill that seeks to control the practice of employers in publicly posting notices of termination of former employees in newspapers, social media, and other venues.
Approved on the third and final reading, House Bill 5818 provides that it is the policy if the State to protect all workers from abusive acts of employers.
Laguna 2nd district Rep. Joaquin Chipeco, Jr., principal author of the bill, said applying the “balancing-of-interests” rule in constitutional law, it is needed to balance the right to be protected against any corporate harm to employees and the right to preserve their dignity and reputation against accusation against them.
“When corporate interests are prejudiced, the company still has a lot of resources to compensate for the loss. However, the lowly workers, have in most cases, only have their character, industry and reputation to cope with adversities. That is, in the uneven contest between capital and labor (with everything else being equal), our laws and jurisprudence have always sided with labor to level the field, so to speak,” Chipeco said.
The bill provides that no employer in the private sector shall publish notices of termination of employment in newspapers, social media or other public information venues unless upon the concurrence of the following circumstances: the subject employee has, based on employee records committed any of the following acts; serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of the employer or the duly authorized representative of the employer in connection with work; gross and habitual neglect of duties by the employee; fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed by the employer or the duly authorized representative of the employer; commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of the employer or any immediate member of the employer’s family or against the person of the duly authorized representative of the employer; and other causes analogous to the foregoing.
The subject employee was an accountable officer or staff, to include the following: cashiers, treasurers, collection officers, sales agents or representatives, management or supervisory employees, other officers or employees who handle cash, property, stocks and other assets of the employer; and the employer has reasonable grounds to believe that the former employee shall cause loss or damage to the property, stocks and other assets of the employer or otherwise compromise the interest of the employer.
An employer who violates the act shall be liable to pay aggrieved former employee reparations amounting to P10, 000 to P50, 000, upon the decision of the court, without prejudice to the filing of any criminal case.
If the violation is committed by a corporation, trust, firm, partnership, association or other similar entity, the damages shall be imposed against the responsible officer or officers.