Q: How do I know if I am an employee of a company or individual in the eyes of the law?
A: You are an employee of the company if your situation pass the four-fold test, namely:
- Your employer hired or selected you.
- Your employer pays you wage or salary.
- Your employer has the power to dismiss or terminate you.
- Your employer has the power to control the means of accomplishing your work.
It must be noted that the existence of the power is what is important even though the employer does not exercise such power.
Q: What are my rights as an employee?
A: You enjoy security of tenure. This means that if you are a regular employee, you cannot be dismissed based on whims and caprices of your employer. There are valid grounds for dismissing you.
Q: What are the valid grounds for which my employer can dismiss me?
A: You can be dismissed based on the following valid grounds:
- You were grossly and habitually negligent with your job
- You engaged in serious misconduct.
- You defrauded your employer or you breached the trust and confidence of your employer.
- You willfully disobeyed the lawful orders of your employer or his representative.
- You committed a crime or offense against your employer, his family or representative.
- other similar causes
Q: What is common about these valid grounds?
A: These all involve fault on the side of the employee.
Q: Could I be dismissed or terminated for reasons not of my own doing as an employee?
A: Yes, the law gives your employer authorized causes to dismiss you without your fault. These are:
- installation of labor-saving devices
- retrenchment to prevent losses
- closure and cessation of business;
- disease / illness
Q: Is my employer allowed to dismiss me without me first knowing and given the opportunity to answer whatever fault is accused of me?
A: No, you have the right to a due process of law, meaning you will have to be given a notice informing you of the grounds for terminating you, you will have to be given opportunity to explain your side, and you will have to received a notice of termination.
Q: What if there is a valid ground for my dismissal, do I receive anything from my employer?
A: You will not receive anything except your last pay and other accrued money claims under the labor standards provision of the Labor Code such as wage or salary differential, cash conversion of service incentive leave, thirteenth month pay, holiday pay, premium pay, night shift differential, etc. depending on the applicability of your situation.
Q; What if I was dismissed due to authorized causes which as you said is not of my own doing?
A: You will receive a separation pay in the amount of 1/2 or 1-month pay for each year of service depending on the kind of authorized causes which resulted to your dismissal.