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  LABOR - Working Conditions for Special Groups of Employees    A. Women Labor Code: Articles 130, 132-136 Omnibus Rules: Book III, Rule XII, Sections 1, 4-14  ART. 130 . [132] Facilities for Women . The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall establish standards that will ensure the safety and health of women employees. In appropriate cases, he shall, by regulations, require any employer to: (a) Provide seats proper for women and permit them to use such seats when they are free from work and during working hours, provided they can perform their duties in this position without detriment to efficiency; (b) To establish separate toilet rooms and lavatories for men and women and provide at least a dressing room for women; (c) To establish a nursery in a workplace for the benefit of the women employees therein; and (d) To determine appropriate minimum age and other standards for retirement or termination in special occupations such as those of flight attendants and the like.  ART. 132 . [134] Family Planning Services; Incentives for Family Planning . (a) Establishments which are required by law to maintain a clinic or infirmary shall provide free family planning services to their employees which shall include, but not be limited to, the application or use of contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices. (b) In coordination with other agencies of the government engaged in the promotion of family planning, the Department of Labor and Employment shall develop and prescribe incentive bonus schemes to encourage family planning among female workers in any establishment or enterprise.  ART. 133 . [135] Discrimination Prohibited . 95 It shall be unlawful for any employer to discriminate against any woman employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment solely on account of her sex. The following are acts of discrimination: (a) Payment of a lesser compensation, including wage, salary or other form of remuneration and fringe benefits, to a female employee as against a male employee, for work of equal value; and (b) Favoring a male employee over a female employee with respect to promotion, training opportunities, study and scholarship grants solely on account of their sexes. Criminal liability for the willful commission of any unlawful act as provided in this article or any violation of the rules and regulations issued pursuant to Section 2 hereof shall be penalized as provided in Articles 288 and 289 of this Code: Provided, That the institution of any criminal action under this provision shall not bar the aggrieved employee from filing an entirely separate and distinct action for money claims, which may include claims for damages and other affirmative reliefs. The actions hereby authorized shall proceed independently of each other.  ART. 134 . [136] Stipulation Against Marriage . It shall be unlawful for an employer to require as a condition of employment or continuation of employment that a woman employee shall not get married, or to stipulate expressly or tacitly that upon getting married, a woman employee shall be deemed resigned or separated, or to actually dismiss, discharge, discriminate or otherwise prejudice a woman employee merely by reason of her marriage  ART. 135 . [137] Prohibited Acts . It shall be unlawful for any employer: (1) To deny any woman employee the benefits provided for in this Chapter or to discharge any woman employed by him for the purpose of preventing her from enjoying any of the benefits provided under this Code; (2) To discharge such woman on account of her pregnancy, or while on leave or in confinement due to her pregnancy; (3) To discharge or refuse the admission of such woman upon returning to her work for fear that she may again be pregnant.  ART. 136 . [138] Classification of Certain Women Workers . Any woman who is permitted or suffered to work, with or without compensation, in any night club, cocktail lounge, massage clinic, bar or similar establishments under the effective control or supervision of the employer for a substantial period of time as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, shall be considered as an employee of such establishment for purposes of labor and social legislation. PT & T VS. NLRC Facts : PT&T (Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Company) initially hired Grace de Guzman specifically as “Supernumerary Project Worker”, for a fixed period from November 21, 1990 until April 20, 1991 as reliever for C.F. Tenorio who went on maternity leave. She was again invited for employment as replacement of Erlina F. Dizon who went on leave on 2 periods, from June 10, 1991 to July 1, 1991 and July 19, 1991 to August 8, 1991. On September 2, 1991, de Guzman was again asked to join PT&T as a probationary employee where probationary period will cover 150 days. She indicated in the portion of the job application form under civil status that she was single although she had contracted marriage a few months earlier. When petitioner learned later about the marriage, its branch supervisor, Delia M. Oficial, sent de Guzman a memorandum requiring her to explain the discrepancy. Included in the  LABOR - Working Conditions for Special Groups of Employees   memorandum, was a reminder about the company’s policy of not accepting married women for employment. She was dismissed from the company effective January 29, 1992. Labor Arbiter handed down decision on November 23, 1993 declaring that petitioner illegally dismissed De Guzman, who had already gained the status of a regular employee. Furthermore, it was apparent that she had been discriminated on account of her having contracted marriage in violation of company policies. Issue : Whether the alleged concealment of civil status can be grounds to terminate the services of an employee. Ruling : Article 136 of the Labor Code, one of the protective laws for women, explicitly prohibits discrimination merely by reason of marriage of a female employee. It is recognized that company is free to regulate manpower and employment from hiring to firing, according to their discretion and best business  judgment, except in those cases of unlawful discrimination or those provided by law. PT&T’s policy of not accepting or disqualifying from work any woman worker who contracts marriage is afoul of the right against discrimination provided to all women workers by our labor laws and by our Constitution. The record discloses clearly that de Guzman’s ties with PT&T were dissolved principally because of the company’s policy that married women are not qualified for employment in the company, and not merely because of her supposed acts of dishonesty. The government abhors any stipulation or policy in the nature adopted by PT&T. As stated in the labor code: “ART. 136. Stipulation against marriage. —  It shall be unlawful for an employer to require as a condition of employment or continuation of employment that a woman shall not get married, or to stipulate expressly or tacitly that upon getting married, a woman employee shall be deemed resigned or separated, or to actually dismiss, discharge, discriminate or otherwise prejudice a woman employee merely by reason of marriage.”   The policy of PT&T is in derogation of the provisions stated in Art.136 of the Labor Code on the right of a woman to be free from any kind of stipulation against marriage in connection with her employment and it likewise is contrary to good morals and public policy, depriving a woman of her freedom to choose her status, a privilege that is inherent in an individual as an intangible and inalienable right. The kind of policy followed by PT&T strikes at the very essence, ideals and purpose of marriage as an inviolable social institution and ultimately, family as the foundation of the nation. Such policy must be prohibited in all its indirect, disguised or dissembled forms as discriminatory conduct derogatory of the laws of the land not only for order but also imperatively required. Labor Law; Dismissals; Petitioner’s policy of not accepting or considering as disqualified from work any woman worker who contracts marriage runs afoul of the test of, and the right against discrimination afforded all women workers by our labor laws and by no less than the Constitution. — In the case at bar, petitioner’s policy of not accepting or considering as disqualified from work any woman worker who contracts marriage runs afoul of the test of, and the right against, discrimination, afforded all women workers by our labor laws and by no less than the Constitution. Contrary to peti- tioner’s as sertion that it dismissed private respondent from employment on account of her dishonesty, the record discloses clearly that her ties with the company were dissolved principally because of the company’s policy that married women are not qualified for employment in PT&T, and not merely because of her supposed acts of dishonesty. Same; Same; While it is true that the parties to a contract may establish any agreements, terms and conditions that they may deem convenient, the same should not be contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy . —Petitioner’s policy i s not only in derogation of the provisions of Article 136 of the Labor Code on the right of a woman to be free from any kind of stipulation against marriage in connection with her employment, but it likewise assaults good morals and public policy, tending as it does to deprive a woman of the freedom to choose her status, a privilege that by all accounts inheres in the individual as an intangible and inalienable right. Hence, while it is true that the parties to a contract may establish any agreements, terms, and conditions that they may deem convenient, the same should not be contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy. Carried to its logical consequences, it may even be said that petitioner’s policy against legitimate marital bonds  would encourage illicit or common-law relations and subvert the sacrament of marriage. LIBRES VS NLRC Facts : Petitioner Carlos G. Libres, an electrical engineer, was holding a managerial position with National Steel Corporation (NSC) as Assistant Manager. He was then asked to comment regarding the charge of sexual harrassment filed against him by the VP's secretary Capiral. This was included with a waiver of his right tobe heard once he didn't comment.   On 14 August 1993 petitioner submitted his written explanation denying the accusation against him and offering to submit himself for clarificatory interrogation.  LABOR - Working Conditions for Special Groups of Employees   The Management Evaluation Committee said that touching a female subordinate's hand and shoulder, caressing her nape and telling other people that Capiral was the one who hugged and kissed or that she responded to the sexual advances are unauthorized acts that damaged her honor. They suspended Libres for 30 days without pay. He filed charges against the corporation in the Labor Arbiter, but the latter held that the company acted with due process and that his punishment was only mild. Moreover, he assailed the NLRC decision as without basis due to the massaging of her shoulders never “discriminated against her continued employment,” “impaired he r rights and privileges under the Labor Code,” or “created a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment.”  He claimed that he wasn't guaranteed due process because he wasn't given the right be heard. This was due to his demand for personal confrontation not being recognized by the MEC. In the Supreme Court, petitioner assailed the failure of the NLRC to strictly apply RA No. 7877 or the law against sexual harassment to the instant case. Moreover, petitioner also contends that public respondent’s reliance  on Villarama v. NLRC and Golden Donuts was misplaced. He draws attention to victim Divina Gonzaga’s immediate filing of her letter of resignation in the Villarama case as opposed to the one year delay of Capiral in filing her complaint against him. He now surmises that the filing of the case against him was merely an afterthought and not borne out of a valid complaint, hence, the Villarama case should have no bearing on the instant case. Issue :  WON Libres accorded due process when the MEC denied his request for personal confrontation. Held :  Yes, Republic Act No. 7877 was not yet in effect at the time of the occurrence of the act complained of. It was still being deliberated upon in Congress when petitioner’s case was decided by the Labor Arbiter. As a r  ule, laws shall have no retroactive effect unless otherwise provided, or except in a criminal case when their application will favor the accused. Hence, the Labor Arbiter have to rely on the MEC report and the common connotation of sexual harassment as it is generally understood by the public. Faced with the same predicament, the NLRC had to agree with the Labor Arbiter. In so doing, the NLRC did not commit any abuse of discretion in affirming the decision of the Labor Arbiter. On the Villarama afterthought-it was both fitting and appropriate since it singularly addressed the issue of a managerial employee committing sexual harassment on a subordinate. The disparity in the periods of filing the complaints in the two (2) cases did not in any way reduce this case into insignificance. On the contrary, it even invited the attention of the Court to focus on sexual harassment as a just and valid cause for termination. Whereas petitioner Libres was only meted a 30-day suspension by the NLRC, Villarama, in the other case was penalized with termination. As a managerial employee, petitioner is bound by more exacting work ethics. He failed to live up to his higher standard of responsibility when he succumbed to his moral perversity. And when such moral perversity is perpetrated against his subordinate, he provides a justifiable ground for his dismissal for lack of trust and confidence. “It is the the duty of every employer to protect his employees from oversexed superiors.” Public respondent therefore is correct in its observation that the Labor  Arbiter was in fact lenient in his application of the law and jurisprudence for which petitioner must be grateful for.  As pointed out by the Solicitor General, it could be expected since Libres was Capiral’s immediate supe rior. Fear of retaliation and backlash, not to forget the social humiliation and embarrassment that victims of this human frailty usually suffer, are all realities that Capiral had to contend with. Moreover, the delay did not detract from the truth derived from the facts. Petitioner Libres never questioned the veracity of Capiral’s allegations. In fact his narration even corroborated the latter’s assertion in several material points. He only raised issue on the complaint’s protracted filing.  On the question of due process- Requirements were sufficiently complied with. Due process as a constitutional precept does not always and in all situations require a trial type proceeding. Due process is satisfied when a person is notified of the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself. The essence of due process is simply to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one’s side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. It is undeniable that petitioner was given a Notice of Investigation informing him of the charge of sexual harassment as well as advising him to submit a written explanation regarding the matter; that he submitted his written explanation to his superior. The VP further allowed him to air his grievance in a private session He was given more than adequate opportunity to explain his side and air his grievances.  LABOR - Working Conditions for Special Groups of Employees   Personal confrontation was not necessary. Homeowners v NLRC- litigants may be heard through pleadings, written explanations, position papers, memoranda or oral arguments. Same; Managerial Employees; As a managerial employee, petitioner is bound by more exacting work ethics . — Petitioner next trains his gun on the reliance by the NLRC on Villaramaand claims it was erroneous. We rule otherwise and hold that it was both fitting and appropriate since it singularly addressed the issue of a managerial employee committing sexual harassment on a subordinate. The disparity in the periods of filing the complaints in the two (2) cases did not in any way reduce this case into insignificance. On the contrary, it even invited the attention of the Court to focus on sexual harassment as a just and valid cause for termination. Whereas petitioner Libres was only meted a 30-day suspension by the NLRC, Villaramain theother case was penalized with termination. As Mr. Justice Puno elucidated, “Asa managerial employee, petitioner is bound by more exacting work ethics. He failed to live up to his higher standard of responsibility when he succumbed to his moral perversity. And when such moral perversity is perpetrated against his subordinate, he provides a justifiable ground for his dismissal for lack of trust and confidence. It is the right, nay, the duty of every employer to protect its employees from oversexed superiors.” Public respondent therefore is correct in its observation that the Labor Arbiter was in fact lenient in his application of the law and  jurisprudence for which petitioner must be grateful and not gripe against. Same; Dismissal; Due Process ; The essence of due process is simply to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one’s side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. — On the question of due process, we find that the requirements thereof were sufficiently complied with. Due process as a constitutional precept does not always and in all situations require a trial type proceeding. Due process is satisfied when a person is notified of the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself. The essence of due process is simply to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one’s side, or an opportunity  to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. It is undeniable that petitioner was given a Notice of Investigation informing him of the charge of sexual harassment as well as advising him to submit a written explanation regarding the matter; that he submitted his written explanation to his superior, Isidro F. Hynson, Jr.; that Hynson, Jr. further allowed him to air his grievance in a private session; and, that upon release of the suspension order made by the MEC petitioner requested its reconsideration but was denied. From the foregoing it can be gleaned that petitioner was given more than adequate opportunity to explain his side and air his grievances. MA. LOURDES T. DOMINGO vs. ROGELIO I. RAYALA   Facts: Ma. Lourdes T. Domingo (Domingo), then Stenographic Reporter III at the NLRC, filed a Complaint against Rayala for alleged acts of sexual harassment like pinching her shoulders and tickling her neck which suggest sexual desire before Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Rayala argued that his acts does not constitute sexual harassment because for it to exist, there must be a demand, request or requirement of sexual favor.  After the last incident narrated, Domingo filed for leave of absence and asked to be immediately transferred. Thereafter, she filed the Complaint for sexual harassment on the basis of Administrative Order No. 250, the Rules and Regulations Implementing RA 7877 in the Department of Labor and Employment. DOLE Secretary referred the Complaint to the OP, Rayala being a presidential appointee. The OP, through then Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, ordered Secretary Laguesma to investigate the allegations in the Complaint and create a committee for such purpose. The Committee submitted its report and recommendation to Secretary Laguesma. It found Rayala guilty of the offense charged. Secretary Laguesma submitted a copy of the Committee Report and Recommendation to the OP. The OP dismissed Rayala. The latter filed before the CA a certiorari under rule 65 but the same was denied. CA subsequently modified the ruling holding Rayala liable with the penalty of suspension for 1 year and not dismissal from service. Domingo, OP and Rayala filed petitions for review. Domingo and OP argued that the dismissal was proper and within the prerogative of the President as Rayala was a presidential appointee. Rayala argued that he is not guilty of sexual harassment. Issue: Did Rayala commit sexual harassment? Held: Yes, It is true that this provision calls for a demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor. But it is not necessary that the demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor be articulated in a categorical oral or written statement. It may be discerned, with equal certitude, from the acts of the offender. Holding and squeezing Domingo’s shoulders, running his fingers across her neck and tickling her ear, having inappropriate conversations with her, giving her money allegedly for school expenses with a promise of future privileges, and making statements with unmistakable sexual overtones  –  all these acts of Rayala resound with deafening clarity the unspoken request for a sexual favor.
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