2019 BAR EXAMINATION
LABOR LAW AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION

– Part I–

A.1.

Define, explain or distinguish the following terms:

(a) Just and authorized causes (2%)
(b) Seasonal and project employees (2%)
(c) Strikes and lockouts (2%)
(d) Bona fide occupational qualifications (2%)
(e) Grievance machinery (2%)

A.2.

X is a member of the Social Security System (SSS). In 2015, he died without any spouse or children. Prior to the semester of his death, X had paid 36 monthly contributions. His mother, M, who had previously been receiving regular support from X, filed a claim for the latter’s death benefits.

(a) Is M entitled to claim death benefits from the SSS? Explain. (2.5%)
(b) Assuming that X got married to his girlfriend a few days before his death, is M entitled to claim death benefits from the SSS? Explain. (2.5%)

A.3.

A, B, and C were hired as resident-doctors by MM Medical Center, Inc. In the course of their engagement, A, B, and C maintained specific work schedules as determined by the Medical Director. The hospital also monitored their work through supervisors who gave them specific instructions on how they should perform their respective tasks, including diagnosis, treatment, and management of their patients. One day, A, B, and C approached the Medical Director and inquired about the non-payment of their employment benefits. In response, the Medical Director told them that they are not entitled to any because they are mere “independent contractors” as expressly stipulated in the contracts which they admittedly signed. As such, no employer-employee relationship exists between them and the hospital.

(a) What is the control test in determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship? (2%)
(b) Is the Medical Director’s reliance on the contracts signed by A, B, and C to refute the existence of an employer-employee relationship correct? If not, are A, B, and C employees of MM Medical Center, Inc.? Explain. (3%)

A.4.

Mrs. B, the personal cook in the household of X, filed a monetary claim against her employer, X, for denying her service incentive leave pay. X argued that Mrs. B did not avail of any service incentive leave at the end of her one (I) year of service and hence, not entitled to the said monetary claim.

(a) Is the contention ofX tenable? Explain. (2.5%)
(b) Assuming that Mrs. B is instead a clerk in X’s company with at least 30 regular employees, will her monetary claim prosper? Explain. (2.5%)

A.5.

Ms. F, a sales assistant, is one of the eight (8) workers regularly employed by ABC Convenience Store. She was required to report on December 25 and 30. Should ABC Convenience Store pay her holiday pay? Explain. (2.5%)

A.6.

D, one of the sales representatives of OP, Inc., was receiving a basic pay of P50,000.00 a month, plus a 1 % overriding commission on his actual sales transactions. In addition, beginning three (3) months ago, or in August 2019, D was able to receive a monthly gas and transportation allowance of PS,000.00 despite the lack of any company policy therefor. In November 2019, D approached his manager and asked for his gas and transportation allowance for the month. The manager declined his request, saying that the company had decided to discontinue the aforementioned allowance considering the increased costs of its overhead expenses. In response, D argued that OP, Inc.’s removal of the gas and transportation allowance amounted to a violation of the rule on non-diminution of benefits.

Is the argument of D tenable? Explain. (2.5%)

A.7.

W Gas Corp. is engaged in the manufacture and distribution to the general public of various petroleum products. On January 1, 2010, W Gas Corp. entered into a Service Agreement with Q Manpower Co., whereby the latter undertook to provide utility workers for the maintenance of the former’s manufacturing plant. Although the workers were hired by Q Manpower Co., they used the equipment owned by W Gas Corp. in performing their tasks, and were likewise subject to constant checking based on W Gas Corp.’ s procedures.

On February 1, 2010, Mr. R, one of the utility workers, was dismissed from employment in line with the termination of the Service Agreement between W Gas Corp. and Q Manpower Co. Thus, Mr. R filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against W Gas Corp., claiming that Q Manpower Co. is only a labor-only contractor. In the course of the proceedings, W Gas Corp. presented no evidence to prove Q Manpower Co.’ s capitalization.

(a) Is Q Manpower Co. a labor-only contractor? Explain. (2.5%)
(b) Will Mr. R’s complaint for illegal dismissal against W Gas Corp. prosper? Explain. (2.5%)

A.8.

Ms. Twas caught in the act of stealing the company property of her employer. When Ms. T admitted to the commission of the said act to her manager, the latter advised her to just tender her resignation; otherwise, she would face an investigation which would likely lead to the termination of her employment and the filing of criminal charges in court. Acting on her manager’s advice, Ms. T submitted a letter of resignation. Later on, Ms. T filed a case for constructive dismissal against her employer. While Ms. T conceded that her manager spoke to her in a calm and unforceful manner, she claimed that her resignation was not completely voluntary because she was told that should she not resign, she could be terminated from work for just cause, and worse, criminal charges could be filed against her.

(a) What is the difference between resignation and constructive dismissal? (2%)
(b) Will Ms. T’s claim for constructive dismissal prosper? Explain. (3%)

A.9.

After due proceedings, the Labor Arbiter (LA) declared Mr. K to have been illegally dismissed by his former employer, ABC, Inc. As a consequence, the LA directed ABC, Inc. to pay Mr. K separation pay in lieu of reinstatement as well as his full backwages. While ABC, Inc. accepted the finding of illegal dismissal, it nevertheless filed a motion for reconsideration, claiming that the LA erred in awarding both separation pay and full backwages, and instead, should have ordered Mr. K’s reinstatement to his former position without loss of seniority rights and other privileges, but without payment of backwages. In this regard, ABC, Inc. pointed out that the LA’s ruling did not contain any finding of strained relations or that reinstatement was no longer feasible. In any case, it appears that no evidence was presented on this score.

(a) Is ABC, Inc.’s contention to delete the separation pay, and instead, order reinstatement without backwages correct? Explain. (3%)
(b) Assuming that on appeal, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) upholds the decision of the LA, where, how, and within what timeframe should ABC, Inc. assail the NLRC ruling? (2%)

A.10.

For purposes of prescription, within what periods from the time the cause of action accrued should the following cases be filed:

(a) Money claims arising from employer-employee relations (1%)
(b) Illegal dismissal (1%)
(c) Unfair labor practice (1%)
(d) Offenses under the Labor Code (1%)
(e) Illegal recruitment (1%)