box What Is Illegal DismissalTermination by the employer of its employees is one act tolerated by law. But, once an employee is terminated without any valid and justifiable cause, there is an illegal dismissal.

When can there be an Illegal Dismissal

There can be an illegal dismissal if the following circumstances are present:

1. The dismissal is without just cause and whether or not due process was observed.
2. The dismissal is for authorized cause and whether or not due process was observed.

If the dismissal is with just or authorized cause but procedural due process was not complied with, the dismissal done to the employee is legal nevertheless the employer is liable to pay for damages.

Just causes for dismissal of an employee are those serious wrongdoings or conduct of an employee, either against the employer or the company itself. Essentially, it is the employee himself who creates the cause for his dismissal.

On the other hand, authorized causes are those which arise not from the wrongful acts of the employee but from the employer’s plan to take some cost cutting programs or labor saving device. Naturally, the dismissal is initiated by the employer.

Case on Illegal Dismissal

In a recent case decided by the Supreme Court, an employee was dismissed due to his alleged absenteeism from the office. But since the employer has failed to produce proofs of the employee’s absenteeism and the fact that the employee was still able to collect his salaries after his alleged absences casts doubts on the truthfulness of such charge. In an illegal dismissal case, the onus probandi rests on the employer to prove that the dismissal of an employee is for a valid cause. (Real vs. Sangu Phils., Inc. and/or Kiichi Abe, G. R. No. 168757, January 2011).

Moreover, petitioner’s dismissal was affected without due process of law. Since in this case, petitioner’s dismissal was affected through a board resolution and all that petitioner received was a letter informing him of the board’s decision to terminate him, the abovementioned procedure is clearly not complied with. (Real vs. Sangu Phils., Inc. and/or Kiichi Abe, G. R. No. 168757, January 2011).

Reliefs of an Illegally Dismissed Employee

An illegally dismissed employee can claim for reinstatement, full backwages, damages, other benefits which rightfully belongs to him and attorney’s fee.
These claims should be stated in a complaint filed with the concerned tribunal.