In a previous article, we classified the causes for terminating employees in the Philippines as Just and Authorized Causes. We now give focus to the Just Causes.
A Just cause is an act attributable to the employee which results in his termination. These causes are normally attended by gravity of the act and willful intent of the employee. Enumerated as just cause for termination are: a) serious misconduct, b) willful disobedience to lawful orders, c) gross and habitual neglect of duties, d) fraud or willful breach of trust and/or loss of confidence; e) commission of a crime or offense, and f) other analogous causes.
Serious misconduct is inappropriate behavior willfully committed by an employee, which is grave in nature and results to a risk in the reputation or productivity of the company. The wrongful behavior is characterized by willful intent, and not by mere inadvertent error.
Willful disobedience to lawful orders is described as a transgression of established rules in the workplace. The rules or orders must be lawful and reasonable, known by the employee, and must pertain to the duties which he has been assigned to discharge.
Gross and habitual neglect of duties implies a repeated failure to perform one’s duties. Normally, isolated acts of negligence do not count as a cause for termination. However, a single act of negligence which is grossly damaging to the employer may qualify as a cause for terminating the employee.
Fraud or willful breach of trust and/or loss of confidence is a cause often associated with the dismissal of employees holding managerial or fiduciary posts. Fraud is an act or omission calculated to deceive another to one’s advantage. Breach of trust is a violation of the trust and confidence given to an employee. To be a cause for termination, the fraud or breach of trust must be in connection to the work of the employee and must result in the loss of confidence in him by his employer.
Commission of a crime or offense as a just cause for terminating employees is limited to those which are committed against the employer or any member of his immediate family. Immediate family includes the spouse, ascendants, descendants, legitimate, natural or adopted siblings of the employer. Also included are the relatives of the employer by affinity in the same degrees and those by consanguinity within the 4th civil degree.
Analogous cases do not have a definite meaning but is used as a catch-all classification of other just causes of termination. It covers all unacceptable norms in a work environment which jeopardizes the business and the employment relationship. Samples include gross inefficiency and conflict of interest.